Volunteering is a great way to give back, but the initial sign up and application process may be time-consuming or difficult. The Cal Poly Pomona Bronco Volunteer program makes finding volunteering opportunities easier.
The program, based in the Center for Community Service-Learning, has information about community organizations that need volunteers. Students then reach out to the organization and establish a connection.
Boualoy Dayton, the program¿s new volunteer coordinator, says there is an opportunity for every student within the 50-plus community groups.
¿There¿s something for everyone,¿ Dayton says. ¿Just like our slogan says, students can ¿Be a hand that serves, be a Bronco Volunteer.¿¿
One of the program¿s goals is to show that it does not take much time to make a difference.
¿Many students say they don¿t have the time, but you can take the information and volunteer when you¿re ready,¿ Dayton says. ¿There¿s a plethora of connections based on an individual¿s forte or interests.¿
Student organizations also can sign up as a group. Every quarter, the center plans to host a Bronco Community Service Days for the campus community to work as a team. In November, 18 people helped build a home with Habitat for Humanity in Covina.
¿We achieved more than just helping out with the home,¿ says third year biochemistry student Alex Oei, who volunteered at the event. ¿We fostered a sense of community. This is what I hope students will gain from this program, not hours logged or work done, but a sense of community.¿
Brian Reyes, a student assistant at the Center for Community Service-Learning, believes that students can improve themselves through volunteering.
¿Our goal is for students to give back to the community that gives them so much,¿ Reyes says. ¿We want students to be involved with local organizations to better the organization and themselves alike.¿
Organizations range from the Youth Science Center, where students instruct and inspire children of all ages to discover the excitement of science and technology, to the Angeles Association, which focuses on preserving and caring for the Angeles National Forest through trail building. All organizations must sign a memorandum of understanding, and volunteers must sign a volunteer informed consent agreement.
To learn more about volunteering and to meet with community organizations, stop by the Bronco Volunteer Fair on Thursday, Jan. 19. The event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Quad.
For more information, visit www.cpp.edu/~ccsl/volunteer.shtml.
(Photo: Lanre Oguntibeju helps a youngster at the Homework Center at the Pomona Public Library in 2009.)