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Hands-on Projects Integral to Volunteer Fair and National Day of Service

Hands-on Projects Integral to Volunteer Fair and National Day of Service

Posted: September 10, 2012

During the Volunteer Fair and September 11 National Day of Service on the Buffalo State campus, students can see that helping their community doesn’t need to be a day-long affair. Just 15 to 20 minutes can make a difference in someone’s life.

Students will have the opportunity to make a birthday card for a homeless person, assemble a comfort kit for victims of violence, or sign a petition—along with seven other mini-projects area non-profit organizations are heading up. Hosted by Buffalo State’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, the fair and National Day of Service will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union Quad and in E. H. Butler Library 210. The projects, which faculty and staff also can participate in, are expected to take between five minutes and two hours to complete.

All together 30 community organizations from across the region will have representatives present to explain what they do and their volunteer needs. The groups are diverse—from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County, which needs volunteer mentors for at-risk youth, to the Buffalo Maritime Center, which needs help renovating and building boats.

Begun in 2002, the National Day of Service is a country-wide movement that honors the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks by assisting others in need. This marks the first year the VSLC at Buffalo State has combined the National Day of Service with its annual volunteer fair.

"We wanted to find a way to engage students in activities while also doing something connected to the National Day of Service," said VSLC Coordinator Laura Hill Rao. "It's a great way to recognize Year of the City at Buffalo State."

Rao added that the community response has been very positive. Their goal was to offer five mini-projects that students could complete between classes, and they ended up with 10.

The hope is that along with making a difference for a day, students will find community organizations they can connect with during the academic year—whether they have a full day or just a few minutes to commit.

To learn more, call (716) 878-5811 or go to www.buffalostate.edu/officers/cdc/vslc.

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