When the Salvation Army recently sent out the call that it needed more volunteers for its Christmas Kettle Program, nearly 240 UAlbany student-athletes responded. During a week when they would normally be preparing for finals, the students rang bells for four hours each day at one of the local malls and collected donations for the needy.
More than 200 student-athletes are also gearing up for climbing the more than 800 steps of the Corning Tower at the 15th Annual Stair Climb that will take place on February 6 to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Joining them will be many other students, faculty and staff who will also take part in the event.
Volunteerism takes its participants to the far corners of the globe as well. Working for Habitat for Humanity, UAlbany student Nkosi Martin went to Durban, South Africa to help build 100 concrete block houses to take the place of closet size shacks that remain as a holdover from the days of apartheid. Nkosi also got to meet former President Jimmy Carter. "Suddenly, he came out of the house I was working on and shook my hand," said Martin.
At the Habitat work site, Martin learned more about apartheid from those who lived through it and also gained some construction skills. "I learned to sheetrock walls, put the trusses on the roof, tile the roof and lay bricks," he said. Nkosi is a junior at UAlbany majoring in business with a concentration in management science and information systems. "It was definitely a worthwhile experience. It gives you a sense of accomplishment to help out a family by providing decent housing," Martin said. His sense of commitment to community extends to the UAlbany campus where he is a resident assistant, vice president of the Angelic Voices of Praise gospel choir and also vice president of the NAACP chapter on campus.
To learn more about volunteerism at the University at Albany, go to the