KU Center for Community Outreach to host Lawrence “Super Service Saturday” this weekend
- Aug. 22, 2012
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Super Service Saturday is one of many opportunities for students to get involved with the Lawrence community and connect with other KU students through volunteer work.
Center for Community Outreach will be hosting Super Service Saturday this weekend. Students can sign up to volunteer from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Big 12 room in the Kansas Union. Free pizza and T-shirts will be provided. At 1 p.m. students will be shuttled to their desired volunteer locations and shuttled back to the Union at 3 p.m.
“We are in this community and we are at KU but sometimes we don’t really feel Lawrence around us,” said Jill Wenderott, CCO executive director. “By volunteering with the CCO, you can really reach out and connect with your community. You get to see more of the city and you get to interact with a lot of people.”
During Super Service Saturday, students will alsolearn about the 13 volunteer programs that are coordinated by the Center for Community Outreach. The programs have their volunteer services once or twice a week or monthly. Students can also sign up on the CCO website, www.cco.ku.edu, or by showing up at a volunteer site during the times of service.
Each of the 13 programs has different volunteer opportunities. The jobs include working with children in music, teaching, gardening, working with the elderly, helping the homeless and working in health areas.
“The retention of volunteers is always a problem,” Wenderott said. “The CCO doesn’t require people to RSVP, and you don’t have to be totally committed.”
The CCO, located in the Kansas Union, reaches out to about 3,000 volunteers a year. Along with its ongoing programs, the CCO organizes service days, such as Super Service Saturday. Other popular service days make up Into the Streets Week, which takes place in the spring.
“Making those connections with people who have the same interests as you and the same passion for giving back to the community gives you that personal benefit,” said Nikki Boggess, CCO managing director. “Seeing the way you affect people with your community service is amazing.”
United Way Roger Hill Volunteer Center, 2518 Ridge Court, is another volunteer organization in Lawrence. It works with more than 100 volunteer agencies. A list of agency locations, volunteer needs and sign-ups are available at www.volunteerdouglascounty.org.
United Way director Lori Johns said the Boys and Girls Club is a popular volunteer spot for college students.
“We get a lot of KU students looking for volunteer opportunities to get involved with the community of where they are going to school, or for a class, or maybe they just want to check out a specific field of interest,” Johns said.
Volunteering at a hospital helped Eric Sparks, a senior from Topeka, come to a realization.
“It gave me appreciation for the amount of work it takes to keep a hospital going,” Sparks said. “Just being there helped me figure out that med school wasn’t quite for me.”
Kelsey Corrigan, a junior from Olathe, said she is passionate about health and wellness for children. She has volunteered with a Kansas City organization, Girls in the Run, for the past four seasons. Last season she helped a girl who wasn’t physically active become excited about running.
“It has to do with what I’m studying in school,” Corrigan said. “It gives me a good sense of well-being because I’m actually doing something to benefit people. Philanthropy is huge. It’s important to give back. We’ve been given our talents for a reason.”
— Edited by Sarah McCabe