Volunteer Center provides variety for community service projects


By Chelsie Gastright

Each year, the students at High Point University average 30,000 hours of volunteer and community service work. With several outreach-oriented organizations on campus, it can become difficult to decide which organization offers the right service opportunities for you. The Volunteer Center at HPU offers students a wide variety of community service options all throughout the year.

Maggie Sturdivant, coordinator and president of the Volunteer Center, explained that unlike other organizations on campus, this organization does not require regular attendance to service events, and that most of the students that volunteer through the organization only volunteer for a single event.

“We just try to reach out to our students and provide opportunities for them to help the community,” said Sturdivant.

Sturdivant also talked briefly about some of the larger events they hold each year that help provide service opportunities for both students and on-campus organizations. In the spring and fall, the Volunteer Center holds a carnival for the local elementary school students around the High Point area. The students get an authentic carnival that includes giant inflatables, booths run by HPU organizations, and a large lunch in the Slane Student Center. The Volunteer Center is hoping to see anywhere from 100 to 150 students at this semester’s carnival.

The Volunteer Center also hosts several blood drives, with their largest drive in the fall. Sturdivant explained that the fall drive averages 250 units of blood, while the smaller drives average 60 units.

Finally, Sturdivant talked about how each semester the Volunteer Center offers “alternative break trips” where students can spend their spring breaks giving back.

For the last three years, HPU has sent students to Guatemala during their fall break to help build close-fire stoves, provide water purifiers and distribute medicine to local families in under-developed parts of the country.

“I decided that I wanted to get involved when I heard about the fall alternative break trip to Guatemala,” said Dylan Robinson, a HPU junior and political science major. “I am a native of Guatemala and had never been back, so I thought it was a good way to visit the country I am from.”

Robinson has been to Guatemala twice and has also been to Mississippi in the spring. The Volunteer Center has been to several other locations during spring semester, including Alabama this past spring. Students who attended the Alabama trip helped rebuild homes that had been destroyed because of recent tornados.

“I have learned a lot about myself and it gives you a new outlook. I have gained so many experiences I wouldn’t get in a classroom,” said Robinson.

The Volunteer Center hopes to show students that volunteering does not mean you need to be at a weekly meeting or regularly attend events; you just need the drive to want to help others.

For information on how to help and how to get involved, search for the Volunteer Center on Facebook (Volunteer Center-High Point University), on Twitter (@VolunteerHPU), or email the Volunteer Center at [email protected].

Campus Chronicle
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