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Civic engagement opportunities: A time to volunteer

Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro

Managing Editor

Photo taken by Raymond Baccari

The Office of Civic Engagement on Wednesday hosted a number of organizations at the quad, presenting those in the RIC community with chances to volunteer and expand their resumes. On sight were AmeriCorps, Sojourner House, Teach for Life, a subsidiary of AmeriCorps, Crossroads Rhode Island and the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center.

Each group had a table set up to engage with the student body. Going from table to table, students learned about each organization, what it is that they do and had the opportunity to speak to someone who works for that organization. All the tables had informational pamphlets, business cards, pens, flyers and other miscellaneous and promotional materials. The representatives from each organization not only explained what their organization was about, but also provided personal stories and experiences about their positions and what they do.

These Organizations strive to do amazing things for their community. For instance, they help with housing, help people in domestic violence situations and provide emergency shelters. Other initiatives they do include outreach programs, law enforcement and court advocacy programs, counseling, and supply teaching tools that help current students become well-rounded educators – essentially investing in the future, even when state and local governments are unable to.

Even for those who had no interest in volunteering, there were plenty of perks for them to talk to these groups. The Civic Engagement and Career Development Center hosted a raffle where one entry earned the winner an opportunity to win a Chromebook. Most of these organizations also offer internships and are actively looking for students who wish to intern. For opportunities to intern, students are encouraged to reach out directly to whichever organization they are interested in.

This event aside, these organizations also work around the clock to provide assistance to those who need it. The Elizabeth Buffman Chace Center can be reached 24 hours a day for those who have been affected by domestic abuse, sexual assault or need assistance with law and court advocacy at 1-800-494-8100. Their drop-in center is located in Warwick and can be reached at 401-738-1700. And the Kent County Courthouse, who can assist with legal advocates, can be reached at 401-822-6680.

For domestic violence help, LGTBQ outreach, and emergency shelters, the Sojourner House can be reached at 401-861-6191, or on their 24-hour hotline at 401-765-3232. And Crossroads provides housing for the homeless and at-risk individuals. Those who need help with case management, basic needs or education and employment services can contact Crossroads at 401-277-4327.


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