DOVE makes last call for student volunteers
Warm weather and clear skies means students will be fighting the urge to stop writing that paper and go outside.
A good way to stop working and not feel guilty about enjoying the sun is to volunteer with the Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE). The end of the semester is just a few weeks away and helping out the local community can be a great way to de-stress and be a healthy distraction from finals.
Thomas Russomano, the assistant director of DOVE, reflected on their success this past year by noting that one of their Service on Saturdays (SOS) events in the fall had over 800 students volunteer to help at a variety sites.
One of DOVE’s most recent events, which Russomano was proud of, was a senior prom that they held for senior residents of South Orange, in which 75 seniors came for a day of dancing and eating.
“If a volunteer experience is meaningful for both the volunteers and the population that’s being served, we always try to repeat or replicate that experience for the following academic year,” said Russomano.
With only two weeks remaining in their weekly volunteer programs, which end on Friday, May 1, there are only a handful of volunteer opportunities left. Currently, DOVE is collecting clothing for the Salvation Army so this is a great chance to drop of any clothing, shoes or accessories that you don’t want to pack up and haul home for the summer.
In addition to the clothing drive, they are also collecting prom dresses for the Covenant House in Newark. A small group of students will also be going down to the South Orange Community Garden this weekend to help get it ready for the planting season. This is a great opportunity to soak up the sun while keeping our village beautiful.
This June, a small group of eight students will be embarking on one of DOVE’s brand new service trips to build houses in West Virginia. Closer to home, this weekend 10 students will be going to the St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia in which students will live and work at a restaurant-style soup kitchen for three days.
In regards to the upcoming academic year, Russomano said that they’re always looking to add new volunteer and community service opportunities.
“Our programs are constantly at capacity and DOVE is working hard to find exciting new volunteer opportunities for the future,” said Russomano.
Mackenzie Scibetta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.