Society needs volunteers to help daily life run smoothly. The altruistic idea of donating one’s time for the greater good of the community creates a sense of hope for future generations, a concept that some say remains uncommon today especially with the unemployment rate and negativity thrown at us by the media. Most people assume that one volunteers after they find their niche in society, have a stable life, and volunteer to keep themselves occupied; though realistically, the community needs younger volunteers just as much as older ones for their enthusiasm, able bodies, and higher energy levels. Though this issue affects the entire nation, Penn State in particular could increase volunteerism through the individual projects and efforts of us talented and open minded students. Penn State already has a presence locally, in regards to volunteer work; however, this presence could be increased significantly by providing more opportunities for students to volunteer, encouraging our peers to participate in more volunteer work, and strengthening our connections with the State College Community.
Penn State Volunteers:
As a Penn State student myself, I know that we remain capable of change through our fund raising events such as THON; however, for some students, this famous fundraiser may be their only philanthropic effort all year. Studies show that those who do not volunteer in local events at Penn State do not get as involved in the community as those who donate their time regularly (“Civic Engagement”). This involvement includes participation in local and national elections as well as staying informed on local happenings and participation in clubs and organizations on campus. For students, much of the enriching college experience that accompanies an education consists of participation in organizations on campus and getting involved in campus events. Forty-three percent of Penn State students participate in one to five hours of community service a month (“Civic Engagement” Figure 2). Hopefully, with some slight reform, these numbers could not only be maintained, but also increase. This subject proves to be ideal for change because already, Penn State students work to link together students on campus with residents of state college to help create an effective model for volunteerism on campus, “They will use their findings from the focus group to help … present a set of recommendations to the State College Borough Council. These recommendations will help the borough form a model to connect volunteers with opportunities to do so” (Over par 3). In addition to these efforts, some organizations such as The Council of LionHearts on campus attempt to offset negative aspects of Penn State, such as the infamous “State Patty’s Day” with a day of service in which 1,000 students participated in (Orso par 3). Efforts such as these contribute to the success of increasing volunteerism on campus, however, significant opportunity for improvement...