Service has always been an integral part of the PLU community. Aside from class requirements, many students seek volunteer opportunities on a personal basis to simply enhance their lives and the lives of others. Funded through the Provost’s Office, the Volunteer Center is the student-run division of the Center for Community Engagement and Service at PLU. Two student co-directors of the Volunteer Center (this year Hannah Reece and Laticia Gingras) work to provide PLU students with this resource on campus.
The main functions of the Volunteer Center include providing a connection between students and community partners, advertising current service opportunities, and organizing events throughout the year.
There are four main events sponsored and organized by the Volunteer Center every school year. Two volunteer fairs (one fall semester and one spring semester) provide an opportunity for community partners to come to campus, have a table in the University Center, and speak with students who may be interested in their organization.
The third and fourth events are actually week-long national events. The goal of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is to educate students about the issues of hunger and homelessness on local, national and global levels. The Volunteer Center organizes one event every day of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week every November. National Volunteer Week is the last event of every year, and celebrates the service work done by PLU faculty, staff and students. Individuals who have shown visible interest in service work are honored at the annual Celebration of Service, at the end of every National Volunteer Week.
Another service provided by the Volunteer Center is meeting with students interested in volunteering to determine which volunteer opportunities meet their interests and abilities. Students are then provided with contact information for different agencies, and helped in the process of beginning a new volunteer position. The Volunteer Center is home to the famous “Volunteer Opportunities Binder,” which holds information on over 45 service opportunities (for every interest topic) in the Pierce County/Tacoma area. Community partners also contact the Volunteer Center about one-time and ongoing events and these events are posted on a bulletin board outside the door of the Volunteer Center, in Ramstad 116.
Students, faculty, or staff who are interested in service work or getting involved with the Volunteer Center should contact Hannah Reece or Laticia Gingras at 253.535.8318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.