The Center for Leadership and Service’s Community and Volunteer Services team presented National Volunteer Week from April 19 to 25.
National Volunteer Week is a time to show thankfulness and appreciation to volunteers who participated in service projects throughout the year. The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) also gave a special thank you to community partners who hosted service projects for Kean students. Many of CLS' partners are fighting to keep people safe, fed, and engaged with their communities during the time of COVID-19.
On Instagram, @keanvolunteers highlighted past service projects and community partners each day including the Community Food Bank, Atria Senior Living, Bernice’s Place, New Eyes for the Needy, Habitat for Humanity, Raphael’s Life House, and more.
The first community partner that was recognized to kickoff National Volunteer Week was the Community Food Bank. The Community Food Bank of Hillside is a pivotal resource for the community. They are the engine that keeps food pantries, shelters and children/family programs fed. Volunteers assist in providing meals through sorting, and packaging meals. During the pandemic, they continue to provide meals for those in need.
Another key partner that was highlighted was Atria Senior Living. Atria is trying to keep our senior friends stay as safe as possible as they continue to quarantine during these difficult times. Before social distancing, volunteers visited the senior living center and supported a positive atmosphere by providing companionship to dozens of seniors. They assisted with recreational activities as well as arts and crafts. The New Jersey Veterans Home was also featured, featuring students who provided companionship to seniors, as well as played games with the residents.
Next, Bernice’s Place and Raphael’s Life House were featured and highlighted volunteers who gave their time to the Elizabeth Coalition throughout the semester. Afterward, the Roselle Parks Art Festival was featured, recognizing volunteers who gave their time to the local community, assisting in setting up the festival and operating different stations for patrons.
Habitat for Humanity highlighted the Morris Habitat organization and Kean volunteers who visited the building site each month and assisted with painting, sheet-rocking, and other tasks. Adopt-a-Park was also featured, recognizing the hard work of volunteers cleaning of the local Union County parks system. Next, New Eyes for the Needy was highlighted and the volunteers were thanked for their contribution of giving sight to those in need by sorting and distributing glasses.
Toward the end of the week, two major walks were featured: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, and the JDRF One Walk for Type 1 Diabetes. Kean volunteers not only walked during these events, but raised thousands of dollars for the causes.
Lastly, Kean Blood Drive donors and advocates were appreciated. Throughout the semester, volunteers gave their time to raise awareness for upcoming blood drives, as well as donated blood in order to save lives.
Although National Volunteer Week is taking on a new face this year, it still maintains the same spirit. The Center for Leadership and Service thanks the incredible student volunteers who donate their time to serve with our community partners. During COVID-19, maintaining a spirit of service is more important than ever. Even though volunteers are not able to perform community service in person for the remainder of the semester, the Center for Leadership and Service team is still finding ways to give students opportunities to serve. To check out these opportunities please check Cougar Volunteers on Cougar Link and follow @keanvolunteers on Instagram.