By Devin Hennen
Wanting or needing to volunteer for community service, but can’t due to commitments of work, school, responsibilities or the lack of time to fully participate in a structured organization? Volunteering is still possible with a hectic life.
Ebonii Nelson, volunteer services coordinator, has established an organization for those with busy lifestyles to still have the ability to conduct volunteer work. Her organization allows students, faculty, staff and the whole community to participate in making Texas a better place. No commitment is necessary to participate in these volunteer activities and programs on campus.
On Sept. 17, Nelson hosted her first volunteer project, Fall for Fall Service Day, at TWU. Signups started Aug. 29, and volunteers picked the projects they wanted to be a part of. There were a total of six sites to sign up for: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Christian Community Action, Keep TWU Beautiful, Keep Denton Beautiful, Cardo’s Farm Project, and the HEARD National Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. Breakfast was set out for the volunteers before their departure at 8 a.m. and lunch was included after the day’s work.
“We are trying to make service, volunteerism, and philanthropy a university initiative,” Nelson stated. More students and others are becoming involved and helping spread the word that this organization exists. Nelson hopes to mark a new beginning of adventure for the university. Her office is located in the Student Union in the Center for Student Development.
“We had three groups from the Dallas campus who were very active in volunteering last Saturday and accomplished a great deal,” said TWU Dallas coordinator of Student Life Chre Parnell. “The Dallas Student Government Association went as a group to the North Texas Food Bank and assisted in putting together over 16,000 meal packages. The Student Physical Therapy Organization worked with Builders of Hope to lay sod and work a landscaping project in Dallas. Our TWU Nursing Association helped with over 500 free health screenings at the Medical Center of Plano.”
Sociology freshman Kamillah Hasan chose to volunteer at Cardo’s Farm Project to harvest plants and crops. Hasan has tried to keep a garden before, but was unsuccessful and let it go. “I haven’t volunteered at TWU before,” she said, “and I thought it would be good to volunteer in a structured environment.” She planned for the service project to benefit herself and the community.
Another TWU student, Marissa Callahan, volunteered for the community service project as well, but she chose to help the HEARD National Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. “I like doing community service, plus it helps build a good college resume,” Callahan remarked. She also convinced her two other roommates to help volunteer in the organization.
Two other similar service projects are being planned for the springtime around Martin Luther King Jr. Day and after Homecoming called the “Big Event”. Following the last project, there will be a Taste of Denton event taking place with music and lots of activities celebrating the work done by volunteers.