Just weeks after Scots In Spirit Day, the College of Wooster is back in volunteer action.† The annual Wooster Volunteer Network’s (WVN) Volunteer Week kicked off on Saturday and was full of new events and some old favorites. WVN plans Volunteer Week with the purpose to expose students to different volunteer opportunities, do service projects and have fun through service, while showing the importance of why people should get involved.
WVN wanted to try something new this year. “This year’s board is full of motivated and dedicated students who all have great ideas,” said President of WVN, Lauren Grimanis ’12. “We wanted to spice up Volunteer Week so that we could expand to incorporate more students.† The WVN board really took initiative and stepped up to the challenge of making this week something new and so far they’ve done a great job.” The group kept the agency fair event and very popular Nearly Naked Run, but all other activities were new.
According to Grimanis, the biggest challenge for Volunteer Week is figuring out how to spread the word about the volunteer opportunities. “Most students are very interested in volunteering and will do so when there are the opportunities. Making all these students aware of what we are planning can be difficult,” she said.
In an attempt to somewhat remedy this challenge, WVN encouraged first-years to volunteer by hosting a dorm competition with the first year dorms and Residence Life to see which hall volunteers the most.
This year’s Volunteer Week included a Wooster Service Day when Wooster Volunteer Network organized a variety of volunteer opportunities around the town, ranging from places like the Humane Society to the Wooster Community Hospital.† Shuttles ran student volunteers between the College and volunteer locations throughout the entire day.† “Service Day was very popular this year, which was great since it was the first time doing this event,” Grimanis said.
On Sunday of Volunteer Week, students had the opportunity to create their own children books at Ghana Book Making.† Tables were set up in Lowry Center, where crafty volunteers could color and create a variety of activity books, including alphabet books and body part books.† The hand-made books will be sent to the Asiafo Amanfro Community school in Ghana at the end of this month, where they will be used as educational tools for the children in the classroom.
Volunteer Week also offered events for students to learn about volunteering.† Students could listen to presentations by other Wooster students who received grants from the Lilly Project and hear about the students’ experiences over the past summer.† The Agency Fair event was held on Wednesday afternoon in Lowry Center; different agencies from around Wooster spoke with students about the volunteer opportunities they provide.
Nearly Naked Run finished the week on Wednesday night.† Students could either run or watch the race and enjoy food from the Great Scots hosted barbeque while also listening to tunes from Woo91. To enter the race individuals had to pay $3, teams of four paid $10 and sports and Greek teams of six paid $15.† All proceeds from the run will go towards Pakistan Flood Relief.
Wednesday night’s Nearly Naked Run is usually the most popular event for Volunteer Week.† The Nearly Naked Run’s motto is “Underwear Required, Everything Else Optional,” which tends to intrigue many students.† This year, WVN added two new races to the Wednesday night competition, the Greek race and sports team race as well as plenty of new prizes.
WVN’s Volunteer Week gave Wooster students new opportunities to give back to the community, something the College strongly encourages. Grimanis has hopes to expand the amount of student volunteers on campus and encourage more people to get involved. “This year for WVN in general we are looking to expand our breadth to include more students and their interests” said Girmanis. “That’s why we had stuff to do on campus and off campus. We do get a lot of participants, but we always want more.”