By Patrick Adams
Nothing makes you feel like you did something greater than to volunteer to make yours or someone else’s lives better. The College hosted a Volunteer Fair in the Montauk Point Room at the Babylon Student Center from 11 am to 2 pm Sept. 15.
Many organizations came to inform the students of volunteer opportunities in our county. Such organizations include Long Island Association for Aids Care (LIAAC), the Peace Corps, and Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, The American Red Cross, YMCA Family Services (The William Floyd Project) and others.
Nina Scollo is a case worker for LIAAC which is a nonprofit organization delivering comprehensive services to all Long Islanders infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
“I believe my words and information really touched the students I
with,” Scollo said.
Most tables had pens to give out to students but LIAAC provided a bowl of condoms. They were gone before she knew it.
“At least most students practice safe sex,” Scollo said. “I was surprised to see the girls wanted them more than the guys.”
Everybody has in one time in their lives heard about the American Red Cross but do you know what they do? And did you know that you could be a part of it? Tembi Jenkins is the director of the Suffolk county chapter. She was really informative about the programs offered to students. You could be a part of the Disaster Action Team, Client Caseworkers, or Logistics. For Thanksgiving you could do more than eating and watching football. The Red Cross is sponsoring the Harry Chapin Food Bank. If you chose to volunteer, you would be a server and help the people who do not have anywhere to go on Thanksgiving. If you are interested in helping out for one day or for life you can call (631)-924-6700 x209. Jenkins last note was “And remember YOU can make a difference!” other services the Red Cross offers is CPR and first aid training.
One of the most interesting places to volunteer is the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. This non Government funded organization focuses on training dogs to improve the quality of life for people, who are blind, visually impaired or have other special needs. There are a number of programs for students to volunteer. One of the favorites is to volunteer in the kennels. If you are a dog lover, this is the job for you, as a kennel volunteer you provide hugs, kisses, and exercise for the dogs housed in their kennels. Volunteers play with their dogs in enclosed indoor and outdoor play yards. And if you’re a dog lover and don’t have a dog of your own there’s a program for you too.
Puppy Walkers is a program to make a commitment to take a puppy home for approximately 12 months. Puppy Walkers provide a safe and loving home where the puppy will learn housebreaking, obedience, excellent house manners, and socialization in public places. You will undergo an obedience training course and ongoing professional training and education while the puppy is in your home. If you love dogs, check out their website at www.guidedog.org.
One of the organizations that the students spent the most time at their table was the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is the most intensive volunteer program at the fair and in life. The rewards of joining are great. Their presentation was about 10 to 15 minutes long and some of the students took chairs from the cafeteria and sat and listened and asked questions. It was like they were in class. Some were taking notes as well. Eddie Lennon a freshmen majoring in computer science asked the most questions. He was the most interested in joining. When asked what he liked the most in the Peace Corps he replied “I had never traveled or helped anyone in my life. I was thinking of joining the Army but my mom would have killed me.” Eddie said. “I didn’t even think of the Peace Corps until I saw the sign.”
Vincent Wickes is the regional manager for the Peace Corps had a lot of information to give to the students. He made us think about what to do after college or even before. The Peace Corps offers free Graduate school at 60 accredited colleges around the United States. By joining the Peace Corps you will learn a different language, different cultures, and Leadership skills. Once you join you will go through three months of intensive training and then go in the field for 24 months. But as Wickes says “it is the most enlightening moment to see what volunteers do.” If you would like to know more about Volunteering you can contact Career Services & Cooperative Education in the Babylon Student Center on the Ammerman campus.