Hey Students, Swap Sunscreen for Service: Volunteer with ACCA!
School’s out! (Well, almost). As you’re prepping for summer, why not learn a little about how you can spend your days in the sun at ACCA? We sat down with Volunteer Coordinator, Ezra Schley, to get his take on volunteer opportunities for students this summer.
1.Why do you believe volunteering is important for students?
As someone who has moved around for the last few years, I know how a place can feel a bit transitional or temporary. Throughout my life, a way I have made my “temporary” homes feel less temporary is by volunteering. Volunteering is such a great way to learn about your surroundings and connect with your community.
Many of the challenges our older community faces can be hidden; senior hunger is an example of this. A lot of our volunteers were not aware that so many of our older neighbors are experiencing food insecurity. Volunteering provides them with the chance to learn about this issue and make a difference. Then, hopefully, they share what they learned with their friends and family and keep spreading the word about opportunities to serve our community and the work ACCA is doing.
2. What kind of volunteer opportunities are available for students?
All of our volunteer opportunities at ACCA are available for students, it’s just about finding the right role depending on their interests and availability. Many students help out with our Mobile Food Pantry grocery packing events which are scheduled every other month (the next one is June 14th). This is a “one-time” volunteer event; so it can fit into a schedule nicely. That said, we have student volunteers in almost all of our programs ranging from our Medicare counseling (SHIP) program to Meals on Wheels. As volunteers for our SHIP program, students can help older adults navigate the complex world of healthcare and insurance. Meals on Wheels is also a fun opportunity for teens to deliver needed meals to and make connections with our older neighbors.
Aside from these specific programs, ACCA offers tons of volunteer options geared towards students interests and availability. Whether it’s assisting admin tasks, organizing community events or helping with fundraising campaigns (like our summer fan drive), there are a lot of opportunities for teens to give their time and skills to ACCA’s mission.
3. Do you have anything special going on this summer that you need volunteers for?
Our garden is in full swing, and we can always use extra hands to keep the weeds in check, harvest produce and everything in between. The garden grows fruit and veggies that we’re able to distribute to folks receiving services from ACCA. Garden volunteers are also able to set their own schedule. So, this can be convenient for volunteers who want that flexibility.
4. What kind of volunteering would help ACCA most?
Our greatest need for volunteers currently is in our food-insecurity programs like Meals on Wheels, Take Out Tuesday and a special project we’re doing with our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. These are a great fit for students because these roles have flexible scheduling and relatively “short and sweet” volunteer opportunities, leaving lots of time available for studying, spending time by the pool or working.
5. How can someone get more involved with ACCA and volunteering?
Reach out to me, the Volunteer Coordinator! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 706-549-4850. I would love to chat with you about what role might be the best fit for you.