Many opportunities to participate in service projects and give back to the community are available to members of the Kean community throughout each academic year. However, the Center for Leadership and Service has organized an entire day dedicated to service April 27 titled Cougars That Care.
Cougars That Care is an annual tradition at Kean that has been taking place for years in which many opportunities to volunteer are compiled into one day.
“Cougars That Care is basically a day of service where we do a bunch of different projects in one day and try to get as many volunteers as possible,” Service Specialist Roberto Adams said.
Many of the available volunteer opportunities are arranged through the Center for Leadership and Service. Additionally, other groups and organizations are encouraged to work in conjunction with the Center for Leadership and Service in order to organize and add their own service projects to the Cougars That Care roster.
“We have clubs reach out to us if they want to join in, or we reach out to them and try to get as many students as possible,” Adams said.
Because Cougars That Care is community service on a larger scale, Senior Service Specialist Gabriella Lapointe believes that the horde of projects and people who participate make the overall day more distinctive.
“I think Cougars That Care is different from a regular service trip. It’s kind of special because it’s a whole day of service, so we have a lot of trips going on in one day,” Lapointe said.
The final list of available trips for the day will allow students to serve and volunteer for Cornell Hall Care & Rehabilitation Center, Jumpstart for a Day, Adopt a Highway, Rahway River Clean Up, the African Heritage Graduation Ceremony, Healthy Kids Day at YMCA and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Adams has not only been an organizer of Cougars That Care but also an attendee as well. He believes that the participation is especially memorable because strides are taken so that those who do volunteer feel acknowledged for their service.
“I did Cougars That Care for the first time last year, and it was cool because it was different from how we normally facilitate trips,” Adams said. “We gave stuff away to the volunteers to show our appreciation for them. The purpose of it was to not only show our appreciation for the volunteers that we do get but also create a bigger impact than we normally do."
Adams believes that both the community and volunteers benefit from the service projects incorporated into Cougars That Care.
“You get the opportunity to meet a bunch of new volunteers who all share the same goal that you do, which is providing service to the community,” Adams said.
None of the trips have yet reached capacity, so those who are interested in taking part in Cougars That Care still have the opportunity to attend. Pre-registration is required and those wishing to do so can do so by visiting the page of their desired Cougars That Care event on Cougar Link and clicking on the registration link in the description.
More information on any of the listed Cougars That Care events can be accessed on each individual event page on Cougar Link. Additionally, interested students can speak directly to a Center for Leadership and Service representative by visiting Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 219, calling (908) 737-5170 and emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.