| By Jazmyne De Witz |
Service is something that allows you to help better the community as well as gain skills that you would not get otherwise. In high school I was really involved in my community, but when I came to UP I got so busy with school that it wasn’t until spring semester I began to get involved again. I am so happy that I got back into being involved because it is very fulfilling to serve people in need and be a part of making the community better.
I found a really awesome program called Jean’s Place that helps women transition out of being homeless. Jean’s Place has 60 beds and it allows women to rebuild their rental histories after being homeless, increasing their chances of having their own place in the future. Along with building rental history, it offers an education and employment center, case management, mental health counseling, and life skills that are all beneficial when wanting to transition out of homelessness.
There are many volunteer opportunities on the Transition Projects website, but I had the awesome experience with helping to serve a healthy meal and play bingo! You are asked to bring a few ingredients to help make the meal, but it is usually no more than five dollars and I am usually able to buy it from Mac’s Market with my points. Although this seems too fun to be helpful or like a volunteer opportunity, the women were all very appreciative and happy for the service we did. Think about it this way, when you are transitioning out of homelessness do you think you would have the money to afford a healthy meal? Not likely, so this is a time for them to get fresh veggies, complex carbs, and filling protein! Also with bingo they are able to get some cool prizes and it is always nice to get something new, right?
If volunteering at Jean’s place or places similar sounds like something you would want to do then visit Transition Projects to find about more opportunities. Also, being a UP student allows for you to have many advantages in getting awesome volunteer experience that will better not only the Portland community, but even other countries!
You have probably heard some information about the Moreau Center and it should be one of the first places you got to when wanting to find service opportunities. On the blog Ready to Serve, they state that “service helps men and women develop skills, knowledge, and habits to improve the world through hope, compassion and solidarity.” If that sounds like what you are working for then definitely visit their blog where there are a lot of resources for finding service opportunities, community partners, post-graduation opportunities, and even international immersion programs where you can travel and help in developing countries! Be sure to check out their blog to learn more!
No joy can equal the joy of serving others. – Sai Baba