Join the Kean University community for a day of service with Cougars That Care, hosted by the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS). On Saturday, April 22, 2017, students will donate their time volunteering for various causes to kick off National Volunteer Week.
"What better way to start the week than joining other Kean University students across the community in a collective effort to give back," said Managing Assistant Director of the CLS Susan Figueroa.
As per Figueroa, in past years there have been between 100 and 125 participants in Cougars That Care events. This year, there are hopes to have between 150 and 200 students involved.
Students and alumni will be volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Atria Senior Living, Union County Parks Adopt A Park Program, The Arc of Union County and Jumpstart for a Day at Kellogg Park.
Other volunteering opportunities will be added as student groups continue to register their own additional projects.
"If a group would like to host a service project for Cougars That Care, they simply need to register their event with the Center for Leadership and Service," Figueroa said.
Students should be aware that volunteering for the service projects are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are closed upon being filled to capacity of volunteers. Each project has its own limit for volunteers based on the host organization's limits.
"We encourage students to sign up early as the first 100 students to sign up will receive a free Cougars That Care t-shirt," Figueroa said.
On the day of the event, students will receive a light breakfast at the check in station at Wilkins Theatre.
"Each project has specific requirements and instructions," Figueroa said. "Students should read each registration on Cougar Link carefully for details."
Service Specialist Shannon Brown provided a description for each service event being held on Cougar's That Care:
Volunteers are given the opportunity to help rebuild homes for families in need through numerous projects of rebuilding and remodeling. Habitat for Humanity and its homeowner families have built or rehabilitated more than 400,000 homes.
Volunteers will be provided both breakfast and lunch due to the duration of the project. Space is very limited for this project, so act now if interested in volunteering.
Kean students volunteer their time at the Community FoodBank of N.J. by packaging food for families in need. Students are given numerous projects such as packaging boxes of food, sorting and labeling food and help in providing basic human essentials that individuals need to survive.
Students are given the opportunity to interact and engage with senior citizens at Atria Senior Living. Students volunteer and assist in activities with the residents such as arts and crafts and recreational activities.
Space is very limited for this project, so act now if interested in volunteering.
Students work with Union County Parks Environmental Specialists in removing debris and litter from parks, restoring park area streams and fixing fenced areas in the community. The Union County Parks consists of 36 parks spanning 6,200 acres. Volunteers will help in maintaining these local parks.
Volunteers will be able to interact, motivate and support individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, along with their families as well.
Jumpstart for a Day
Senior Site Manager at Kean University Gina Miseo provided a description of the Jumpstart for a Day event:
Jumpstart for a Day will be a literacy event for the children in the Elizabeth community. We will be reading "The Busy Beaver" and we will have literacy stations set up with different activities for the children to participate in, such as tissue paper tree art, seed planting and yoga stretches. We will be in Kellogg Park from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and will have a special guest author making an appearance.
"It is not everyday that you can impact lives in a profound way," Figueroa said. "We encourage all Kean students to go out into the Kean community or any other community and help those who find themselves in need."
For more information and to pre-register (which is required), visit Cougar Link and search "Cougars That Care." For further information about how organizations can participate in Cougar's That Care Day, contact the CLS by visiting room 219 in the Miron Student Center, calling 908-737-5170 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.