Looking For More Places to Volunteer?
Emmitt James
ewill756@uwsp.edu - Twitter @Emmitt_James

If you are a student looking for places to volunteer, where do you go? Though there are many answers to this question, thinking outside of the box may offer a fresh experience.

There are some places on campus that have become the norm to look for volunteer opportunities, like the Student Employment & Involvement Office (SIEO), but what about the places not everyone knows about?  

Liz Westcott, the Cupboard operation coordinator from SIEO, mentions that many students like to volunteer at places like the YMCA or the Boys & Girls Club because they are closer to campus.

According to Westcott, Volunteersrock.org is another great source to seek additional volunteer opportunities.

“On this website, people can basically pick what time works best for them to volunteer, what type of organization they’d like to work with and what type of volunteering they’d like to do,” Westcott said.

Another way to find volunteer work is to try and connect volunteer work to your major.

“Early childhood majors could volunteer at the Children’s Museum. I know a lot of psychology majors interested in volunteering there, too, because they do an ‘Autism Night’,” Westcott said.

SIEO makes it their business to help students brush up on these details, but it is not just volunteering alone that makes the interaction special. The experience is enriching.

“It’s good for yourself. It makes you feel positive and allows you to connect with other people,” Westcott said.

Caitlyn Lindsey, the service trip coordinator for SIEO, says it is another great way to build connections, from making new friends to meeting possible future employers.

“The thing with volunteerism is it shows that you’re not just motivated by money.  It means that when you do something, you’re doing it because you want to do it,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey argues that showing these sorts of attributes right away makes it more likely to gain employment because it shows an interest in the field.

Although volunteerism allows involvement and contribution to the community, it also can be time-consuming. This is why SIEO offers various volunteer opportunities for a range of different time commitments.

Whether a student decides to volunteer weekly, monthly or yearly, programs are flexible to fit each student’s desired hours. 

Kirsten Donkle, the special events and promotions coordinator for SIEO, is a firm believer in volunteer work that resonates from the heart.

“For me, it’s finding something that speaks to you, and then it kind of just develops on its own,” Donkle said.

In addition to some of the places mentioned earlier, the Holly Shoppe sells crafts made by senior citizens in the area and is also known for being another place to volunteer. You could also call United Way 211 and find more on volunteer work around town.

In the meantime, SIEO remains a resource on our campus. If you have any questions, visit SIEO in the lower level of the DUC.