Giving Back and Spreading Joy

Information about City Relief and how Kean University contributes to their outreach.

Giving Back and Spreading Joy
Kean students should check Cougar Link for City Relief volunteer opportunities .
Fajr Eutsey

Members of the Kean community are always willing to help one another and those in need. Students that are looking for volunteer opportunities should look into City Relief. 

“City Relief offers people experiencing poverty and homelessness hot meals, supplies, and connections to resources for housing, employment, and health care,” said City Relief on their website

City Relief is a mobile outreach active in New Jersey and New York. Since Kean University has partnered with City Relief, students can sign up for the volunteer work listed on Cougar Link.

“I look for an open heart and open mind,” said Susan Figueroa, managing assistant director of Community Service and Civic Engagement. 

As Figueroa stated, volunteers should have a genuine interest in helping others. An open heart is necessary as students should try to have compassion for those going through hardships. An open mind will help guide students as they find different and unique ways to help others.

“We have virtual and in-person outreach. We like to provide online students with an opportunity to volunteer,” said Figueroa.

Figueroa explained how students often create positive messages on Canva. These messages are usually hung around the offices and are put on items given to those experiencing hardships. Figueroa also expressed that meaningful interactions between the students and the population helps City Relief. 

“I always encourage students to be mindful of what they write. They get one chance to connect with a person, and they should want their impact to be positive and kind,” Figueroa said.

Kean volunteers truly exemplify teamwork as they complete many tasks for City Relief. Sometimes, they may help clean or prepare locations before food is served. Still, those smaller jobs are important because they set the foundation for the success of larger tasks and events.

“It is those little things that really matter,” said Figueroa.

Becoming a part of City Relief is an easy process. Students can sign up for volunteer work that interests them through Cougar Link. For further questions about how to get involved, interested pupils can email Susan Figueroa at