April is known as National Volunteer Month and students on GC’s campus are taking advantage of volunteer opportunities around the Milledgeville community.
By partnering with The GIVE Center, students can choose from nearly 30 organizations to volunteer with.
Kendall Stiles, senior director for community engagement at the GIVE Center, said that they categorize the different service organization in topic interests to help volunteers engage in something they are passionate about.
“We have between 20 and 30 service organizations that have different volunteers and work with different nonprofits in the community,” Stiles said. “We try to figure out what the needs are in the community and the service organizations and then what the desires and wants of the volunteers are.”
Junior Diana Kight, an English major, chose to volunteer with Baldwin County schools as a tutor when she was a freshman.
“I always liked working with kids and tutoring like in high school before transitioning into college, so I thought it would be a good benefit for me,” Kight said. “I find it is so good to give back to the community, and Baldwin county is a great place to give back.”
Senior Kelsey Megson, Rally PR and Recruitment chair and a MIS major, said she volunteers because she wants to repay Milledgeville for being her home throughout her college years.
“Volunteering has given me a great way to give back to the community,” said Megson. “Rally raises money for childhood cancer research, and at the end of the day knowing you are raising money to help kids who are currently battling cancer is so rewarding .”
Volunteers can also receive national awards and scholarships through the GIVE Center. One of the most popular awards they offer is the National Presidents Volunteers Service award. This award is offered at three levels: bronze with a minimum of 100 hours, silver with a minimum of 175 hours, and gold with a minimum 250 hours. The timeline to get these hours is March 1 to Feb. 28 of the following year.
“This year we’re recognizing about 150 students at different levels, and we will actually have that award ceremony where they will get their certificate and letter from the president,” Stiles said.
Since the GIVE center opened, they have recorded over 792,000 hours and have registered 21,490 volunteers. Just this year alone, they have recorded 51,125 hours.
The GIVE Centers largest event is coming up on April 7 with GC Miracles Dance Marathon. This event will raise money to fund the construction of a new hospital in Macon.
“Our big event is coming up, which is dance marathon with GC Miracle,” Stiles said. “GC Miracle is our largest service group. They have a big goal, and they are working hard to fulfill that, and we’re excited to see them actually get that goal and be excited about it.”
The GIVE Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. They register volunteers Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To register to be a volunteer, students must bring an ID—which cannot be a Bobcat Card—and social security number and to go to the GIVE Center. There they copy the ID so they can perform an official background check.
Next, potential-volunteers can use the computers provided to join iVolunteer on OrgSync and fill out the registration form. At the end of the form there are two videos to watch to finish the orientation.
A few days after completing this form, potential-volunteers will receive a placement phone call to discuss different options to work with to make sure it is a right fit.
“If students are interested in volunteering, it is not too late,” Stiles said. “They can come by the GIVE Center.”