Volunteering in Our Community
The semester’s ending and it’s getting hectic (or more hectic than usual) for everyone. It’s understandable if you haven’t considered what you’ll be doing after this school year’s over. I just wanted to put a little worm in your ear and suggest taking sometime to volunteer and give back to the community. But where do you look to find worthwhile opportunities? Here are some places you can look:
Neuroscience Outreach and Volunteer Association
The Neuroscience Outreach and Volunteer Asssociation (NOVA) aims to foster civic responsibility within the Neuroscience community. Some of the activities they do include hosting a monthly bingo night at Spring Grove Psychiatric Hospital; organizing fun, science-related activities for kids at the Port Discovery Children's Museum; and preparing meals for underserved members of the community at the Ronald McDonald house.
UMB Office of Community Engagement
The Office of Community Engagement (OCE) is the university’s liaison to communities in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland. They work with communities in West Baltimore that border the UMB campus, including K-12 public schools, community organizations, nonprofits, and local businesses. The OCE also coordinates the community engagement initiatives for the university’s schools. They have wide ranging activities so check them out.
Volunteer Match is an online hub that, as their name suggests, recruits volunteers and matches them to organizations that need help. They list opportunities from smaller community organizations to larger, more well established charitable groups. Moreover, you can volunteer virtually from home on your computer in addition to volunteering locally.
This is just a smattering of places you could look to volunteer and help out surrounding communities. These organizations typically run on a very slim margin which makes volunteer time and effort all the more valuable. You can also donate money to help these organizations (which is preferable in certain situations like natural disaster relief), but sometimes you just want to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.