Student volunteer opportunities

With the holidays in full swing and hearts in the giving spirit, many students want to give back to the community by volunteering.

Students who volunteer regularly leave feeling fulfilled.

“This past summer I started working at a hospital in post-partum with the babies and mothers,” sophomore Lorelai Gilmore said. “From this experience, I’m a lot more thankful for what I have. I could just keep volunteering over and over because it makes me feel really good and I love it so much.”

Students volunteer to show their thanks to the community.

“One of the reasons I volunteer is because I’ve always wanted to help and care for people; that’s one of the reasons I want to become a doctor,” junior Ravneet Kaur said. “I’ve always wanted to give back to the community that has given me so many opportunities for education and has helped pave a way for me to be successful and succeed.”

There are multiple ways students can volunteer.

Students can be a part of the bell ringing heard throughout stores during the holiday season. To sign up for bell ringing through the Salvation Army, visit registertoring.com. Students will have the option to ring at the Greenwood Park Mall, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Walgreens or Walmart. Volunteers will be asked to select dates and sign up for shifts. Bell ringing is an easy way to raise money for a cause that helps those in need.

Each Monday night, Greenwood Christian Church, located at 2045 Averitt Road, hosts dinner for the people of the community.

“I volunteer at Greenwood Christian Church,” senior Caitlin Sawin said. “You show up around 4:45 p.m. and help set up. You serve meals to the people who come each week, and it’s normally people who don’t get meals at home. You can help make the food or hand it out. It wraps up around 7 p.m., and you help clean up afterward.”

For more information, or to sign up, visit: https://greenwoodchristian.wufoo.com/forms/community-meals-volunteer-form/.

Food pantries are in need of volunteers year-round–not just during the holiday season.

The Refuge, located at 65 Airport Parkway Suite 114, has three ways students can serve: by becoming Monday or Wednesday mentors in the after-school program, by working in the food pantry on the second, third or fourth Thursday of each month or by serving meals from 6 – 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

“At The Refuge, I work in the food pantry,” junior Ravneet Kaur said. “We give out groceries to people who cannot afford a normal store, like Kroger or Walmart. We give them one of each item from different categories; for example, meat is a category. If they ever ask for extra items, like women’s or men’s supplies, we also give them that. It’s very easy to become involved in volunteering at the Refuge. You need to either call them or visit their website.”

To register to volunteer or learn more about The Refuge, call (317) 889-7338 or visit http://therefugeinc.com.

Gleaners Food Bank, located at 3737 Waldemere Ave. Indpls, is another food pantry open to student volunteers. Each shift is three hours long, and students will organize food for families in need. Students under 18 must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. To sign up, visit https://www.gleaners.org/volunteer/.

Students who do not have spare time can seek out local organizations, such as food pantries, animal shelters and hospitals, that need donations. Visit a specific organization’s website to see what items they are in need of and how you can help.

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