Rowan Office of Volunteerism provides incentives for student volunteers

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Students looking to find the feeling of fulfillment that volunteering brings need not look far.

Located in Suite 210 of the Student Center, the Office of Volunteerism, Community Engagement and Commuter Services (VCECS) helps to connect students with volunteering opportunities for a variety of causes.

Andrew Perrone, the assistant director of VCECS, said that they offer volunteering opportunities with the Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity and Cathedral Kitchen for both short- and long-term projects.

“We do at least two service projects every week of the entire school year, and each one of those events is a one-time unique opportunity,” Perrone said. “You’re not signing up long term. You don’t have to do an entire semester or a whole year if you do it once.”

“Volunteering gives you a chance to get out there and meet new people, see new things, and …learn about yourself through the process of getting to know someone different.” – Andrew perrone

There are also events that take place over a longer period of time, as well as seasonal events that take place certain times of the year. One upcoming event will be decorating pumpkins with residents of an assisted living facility.

Volunteers at the Cumberland County SCPCA. - Photo provided by Karen Drake
Volunteers at the Cumberland County SCPCA. – Photo provided by Karen Drake

One of the benefits of volunteering with VCECS, according to Perrone, is it gives students the opportunity to do something they may be unaccustomed to.

“Volunteering gives you a chance to get out there and meet new people, see new things and not only learn about them and their experience, but learn about yourself through the process of getting to know someone different,” Perrone said.

Marie McKee, a freshman psychology major and volunteer, said VCECS “broadened her horizons.”

“It helped me get involved in the community,” McKee said.

McKee, whose family runs a food bank in Westville, New Jersey, said one of her favorite places to volunteer with VCECS was the assisted living facility, Juniper Village.

Nick Morrows, a junior psychology major, said one his favorite volunteering events was the St. Bernard Project, where volunteers help rebuild homes destroyed by hurricanes.

“I love physical work stuff,” Morrows said. “That’s just me.”

In addition to the fulfillment of helping others, VCECS provides other incentives for students to encourage them to volunteer.

Karen Drake, a freshman marketing major and the marketing and promotions assistant of VCECS, said that the office raffles off 50 Rowan Bucks for student volunteers. Students who volunteer twice are also given a free t-shirt.

“You got your [Rowan] Bucks plus free stuff aspect of it but you also have the giving back to the community and helping other people side of it,” Drake said.

Anyone can volunteer with VCECS. For more information about volunteering opportunities, contact Karen Drake at drakek0@students.rowan.edu.

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