Linfield College’s Community Service Center received good news this year with the awarding of 30 AmeriCorps Students in Service (SIS) member slots, which is three times more than last year, to distribute for the 2010-2011 school year.
The aim of the SIS program is to appoint college students as part-time AmeriCorps members to engage in volunteer service in an attempt to create a group of students concentrated on strengthening their own leadership skills while making positive contributions to the community.
SIS will give 30 students the opportunity to obtain an educational scholarship worth $1,132 to go toward tuition, loans, graduate school, etc., if they complete at least 300 hours of community service during the course of one year.
Students who are eligible for SIS include regular basis service volunteers, those working in community service positions through Federal Work Study, part-time or full-time student teachers and service-related academic interns as well as those completing service learning projects with nonprofit organizations.
SIS is not the only way that students can get involved with community service opportunities. For students that already have a lot going on, dedicating as little as one hour a week to one organization has an amazing impact on the community, Community Service Coordinator Jessica Wade said.
Another benefit of community service is that it can be done individually or in a group. In fact, Linfield has several clubs that dedicate time to different community service projects. Some of these clubs include Circle K, an international community service club; Global Action, which focuses on local and international poverty and hunger; and Habitat for Humanity, which collaborates with the local Habitat chapter.
The Community Service Center also has specific days of the month set up with community organiazations for students to volunteer. In addition, service days such as Global Youth Day, Taste of Service and Martin Luther King, Jr., Day are organized throughout the year for students to participate in.
“Service provides students with a good hands-on opportunity outside of the classroom with real world experience, and at the same time gives back to the community,” Wade said. “It’s mutually beneficial.”
Other ways to get involved in group community service are through membership in Greek Life and honors societies, such as Service Patriotism Understanding Sacrifice (SPURS) and Alpha Lambda Delta.
“We aren’t just focused on producing students and workers. We want them to develop civic and leadership skills to become positive contributors to the community,” Wade said.
To learn more about coming service opportunities visit www.linfield.edu/ccs/. To learn more about SIS, attend an informational session at 4 p.m. Sept. 22 in Walker 203 or contact Wade in Walker 124. For a full list of SIS positions visit www.linfield.edu/ccs/community-service/.
SOLV Beach Clean Up
When: Sept. 25
Where: Oregon beaches, lakes and rivers
What: Oregon volunteers spanning from the Washington to California borders will be participating in the fall Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism Clean Up, picking up debris along the waterways. This is the program’s first clean up expansion. SOLV has a clean up every fall and spring, but this is the first time that it is moving it inland.
How to get involved: Sign up in the CIC in the Riley Student Center. Transportation to the event will be provided.
St. Barnabas Soup Kitchen
When: 3:40 to 6:15 p.m., Sept. 29 and Nov. 3
Where: St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. The church is located at 822 S.W. 2nd St, McMinnville, Ore.
What: Students will serve dinner at the soup kitchen from 4 to 6 p.m. on the first and fifth Wednesdays of the month. The kitchen needs six to eight volunteers to help serve the hot meals that they prepare.
How to get involved: Visit Wade in Walker 124 or call Howie Harkema between noon and 6:00 pm on Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 503-472-3711. Volunteer sign up forms can be found on the church’s website: www.stbarnabasmcminnville.com/soup.htm.
Taste of Service
When: 8 a.m. to noon, Sept. 18
Where: Meet in the Fred Meyer Lounge
What: An opportunity for freshmen and transfer students to fulfill their Colloquium Final Project requirement while serving the local community at the same time. Upperclassmen are welcome to
participate as well but will be used as project group leaders. No community service experience is necessary to lead a group. Service project locations include: Salvation Army Community Garden, Linfield Community Garden, Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) Regional Food Bank, YCAP Food Drive at local grocery stores and three different farms. The event runs on a schedule so students can only choose one project for the day. Breakfast will be provided.
How to get involved: Sign up at the Taste of Service website: www.linfield.edu/ccs/community-service/tasteofservice.html.
When: Times will be scheduled after the application has been approved.
Where: At Newby, Buel, Grandhaven and Columbus elementary schools.
What: Start Making a Reader Today is a program that aims to improve
elementary students’ reading skills. Volunteers will dedicate a couple of hours a week to read to a few children.
How to get involved: Visit Wade in Walker 124 and fill out the online application at www.getsmartoregon.org/. Click on the “Volunteer” tab, then “Volunteer Now.”
Grand Families of Yamhill County
When: Every second Tuesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Newberg Chapter located at Newberg Christian Center, 2315 Villa Rd, Newberg, Ore.
What: Grand Families of Yamhill County is a chapter of the Grand Families program. It is a support group that is open to grandparents and other relatives that are raising children. It meets once a month for an information session and potluck. Volunteers watch the children in the church’s playroom, while the group meets.
How to get involved: Contact Lilly or Jim Pinneo at 503-537-0458 for more information.
Homeward Bound Pets
When: Individual volunteer times are scheduled.
Where: Located at 10605 SE Loop Rd. Dayton, Ore. Highway 18, a half mile east of the Evergreen Aviation Museum.
What: Homeward Bound Pets is a nonprofit organization that serves Yamhill County. Volunteers can participate in an array of tasks including cleaning and sanitizing, social work grooming and
interacting with the animals, or taking part as a regular basis
How to get involved: Volunteer applications are available at the Homeward Bound Pets website: www.hbpets.org/volunteer.phponline. Applications must be submitted and approved before volunteering. Orientations are regularly done and require the volunteer’s attendance.
by Jessica Prokop/Culture editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.