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Taking care of the community

 Students may often find themselves looking for a way to give back. As Ghandi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” For students looking to better their community and better themselves, Student Life and Denton Serves offer a wide range of programs and non-profits that are always taking volunteers. Aside from being charitable, volunteer work is also a good way to gain experience and spruce up a resume for a job or an application for graduate school.

Student Life is the architect of many programs focused on the wellbeing of the student body and community outreach. Director of Civic Engagement Christopher Scanlan believes that service to others and internal happiness are connected, which is why Student Life is responsible for events like BIG DAY, which features projects like Keep Denton Beautiful and Friends of the Family. Recently, Student Life held an MLK day of service to involve the community in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Opportunities to volunteer with Student Life can be found on their branch of the TWU website or in their offices.

Some auxiliary volunteer services are listed on Student Life’s site, including All For Good: a massive database of volunteer opportunities and Americorps: a national non-profit organization that specializes in nature conservation and is built of a strong volunteer network of young people keeping trails groomed, maintaining the fire safety of our forests and building cooperative gardens. Find out more at the TWU website, or in the Student Life Office, located on campus in the Student Union.

To serve outside of the university and impact the surrounding city, Serve Denton is located at 306 N Loop 288. Serve Denton compiled a number of non-profit organizations and other community-serving programs into the same building, including Youth and Family Counseling, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Refuge for Women, Zoie’s Place, New Day services and many more. By bringing these nascent programs together, collaboration is easier, the cost of space can be shared and visitors do not have to locate and travel to multiple destinations to find the help they need. Volunteers are needed especially at Wheeler House, where housing needs can be met for single mothers and their children, and in Big Brothers Big Sisters, where people can volunteer to sponsor a child in need of emotional support.

“Every few months, we have a service day at The Wheeler House where volunteers can help us paint, garden, clean, etc. to help provide a comfortable home for the moms and their kids living at The Wheeler House,” Serve Denton said. In the Denton school district, there are about 800 children without permanent homes, and fifteen-percent of Denton is food insecure. Giving back to the community through programs that combat food insecurity and promote the health and wellbeing of mothers and children can be important and rewarding[. While not everybody is in need of help, there are some who are and will take all the community help they can get.

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