During a student’s time at university, a wide range of activities and involvement in organizations will shape their experience as a student.
Volunteering is an experience that can be very beneficial to students.
Jillian Sinosa, junior in nursing, has volunteered through her sorority, Gamma Alpha Lambda, and as a member of the honor society, Phi Eta Sigma.
“Not only is it (volunteering) a good stress reliever, but it helps you build character, patience, compassion and having a servant’s heart,” Sinosa said.
Volunteering can be a great way for students to enhance their resume, become more involved at PSU and the community and spend their time doing something important.
“Not only is it good for your resume… it’s being able to help other people,” Sinosa said.
For students who want to donate their time volunteering, Pitt State as well as the Pittsburg area have plenty of opportunities and needs for volunteers.
Students can volunteer at the Lord’s Diner, a non-profit kitchen, the recycling center, the SEK Humane Society, local churches, Fostering Connections, the Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Wesley House and more. Students can also join the Circle K club which is a group dedicated to community service.
“There are such diverse opportunities around (and) you can kind of do whatever you’re into,” Sinosa said. “I think it’s really good taking time doing things you like to do then knowing it helps others in return. So, it’s kind of like a give and take kind of thing. You’re helping them but they’re helping you in a way.”
Students can find volunteer opportunities through being involved in various PSU clubs and groups, which may have volunteer requirements. Students can also utilize online search engines such as volunteermatch.org, yellowpages.com or even a quick Google search. Additionally, students can monitor bulletin boards and attend community fairs to search for volunteer opportunities.
For students who do not have enough time to commit to regular volunteering, each year the Pittsburg State University Student Government Association (SGA) hosts the BIG Event which is a one-day service project, usually held in the spring semester.
Jasmine Kyle, SEK Humane Society Business and Promotions Manager, says they enjoy having student volunteers as they are “high energy, (and) we’re able to have you guys come over and have walks and runs with the dogs.”
Currently, the SEK Humane Society is only accepting volunteer dog-walkers, in order to adhere to COVID-19 regulations and for the safety of the staff, animals and volunteers.
“We’re very happy to get volunteers back on-location with our dog walkers here soon,” Kyle said. The Society board will continue to meet on a monthly basis to determine which activities will be brought back for volunteers.
Another way students can volunteer with the Humane Society is by fostering animals.
“It’s not time sensitive,” Kyle said. “If you only have a few weeks, you can still help out an animal.
There is a huge emotional impact to the person fostering. Just going home at night and knowing you helped an animal one-on-one today.”
Kyle believes it’s important and beneficial for students to volunteer, especially during difficult times.
“There’s a sense of pride that not only are you getting a sense of benefit from it, but you know from first-hand and can see it that you helped touch a life today,” Kyle said. “And that’s huge, especially during a pandemic when everyone is isolated from their family and from their friends, to be able to have that in their home environment or have that and come out and touch a life is truly impactful and beneficial right now.”
Students should reach out to organizations they would like to volunteer with and check their social media pages and websites for updates to volunteer activities in order to adjust to COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.