Volunteer UGA Gives Back to the Community

May 6, 2010 by  

Volunteer UGA’s Day of Service is not just about getting credit for class or another activity for a resume.  It’s about giving back.

“The world is changed more by small kindnesses than large gestures,” said D.J. Simpson, the vice president of service for Alpha Phi Omega. “But if you take all of those kindnesses that we’re out there making in the community, they add up to a whole lot.”

Alpha Phi Omega is a co-ed service fraternity that participated in the event.

Volunteer UGA sponsors 35 member organizations on campus.  These organizations range from Circle K, the largest collegiate service organization in the world, to Forgotten Friends, which is a UGA organization dedicated to companion animals.

Twenty-Nine of these organizations totaling 132 students banded together on March 27 in what Volunteer UGA calls the Volunteer UGA Day of Service.  The name is a slight misnomer, however, because the service extends beyond UGA’s campus and into the surrounding community of Athens.

Sarah Alongi, the director of external affairs for Volunteer UGA, said that students had the opportunity to work at Oasis Católico, Athens-Clarke County Animal Control, Athens-Clarke County Greenway, two Boys and Girls Club locations, Clarke County Middle School, Coile Middle School, Northeast Georgia Food Bank, Magnolia Estates Assisted Living and Project Safe Thrift Store.

The volunteers completed projects that ranged from painting and cleaning at the Boys and Girls Clubs and Oasis Católico to sorting donations or packing boxes of food at the Project Safe Thrift Store and the Northeast Georgia Food Bank, said Alongi.

“You know, people don’t often realize what we’re doing when we’re at a project,” said Alpha Phi Omega’s Simpson.  “When we serve at Arbor Terrace or Grandview [Nursing Home], we aren’t just playing bingo.  We are literally making the residents’ day.”

“The Volunteer UGA Board of Directors and its members all believe in its potential to truly shape a culture of service on this campus and in the Athens community,” Alongi said, “so our main goal is to do that more effectively each year.

“I think the Day of Service is a huge piece of that,” Alongi said, “as it really is at the core of what our mission is – service.

“Giving our members an opportunity to see some of the community’s issues firsthand has made such an impact on them and on our community,” said Alongi.

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