Last year over 650 students volunteered more than 75,000 hours of service to nonprofit and public agencies in the Capital Region through UAlbanyís Community and Public Service Program. And itís just one of many such campus volunteer efforts.
The Presidential Honors Society is made up of high-achieving students who also donate their time and talents to the community. They stand by their mission to "create a true honor through service to the campus and community that brings prestige to the University, the individual, and the organization and its members." Since its founding, PHS has won the Presidentís Undergraduate Leadership Award for Community Service for two consecutive years Ė last year contributing over 5,000 hours of community service. One of their newest programs has been to organize recurring "dinner nights" at the local Ronald McDonald House.
No longer simply social organizations, sororities and fraternities place community service high on their list of group activities. Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Senoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority recently collected used cell phones. When possible, the phones are refurbished to be used again by someone in need and, if not, are properly recycled to protect the environment. "We want to encourage people to turn a used item into a life-saving tool," said Rosa Cabrera, organization president.
Students can also find volunteer opportunities within their own on-campus living communities. Josh Hewitt, a resident assistant, approached the University chapter of Habitat for Humanity with an idea to bring together a group of residents from his Quad. Together they worked to refurbish an abandoned house for a needy family.
"Through my volunteer work," said one student, "I have learned a lot about the world and the community, but thereís also been the unexpected benefit of feeling a sense of my own personal growth."
For more information about volunteering at UAlbany, visit the Career Development Center Volunteering website.
Special Note: UAlbany Junior, Julissa Batista was a contributing writer to this story.