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Students can give back without going broke

By Adam Stirpe
On November 1, 2012

  • Collecting items from family and friends for food drives is a great way to volunteer. NAVAC/Flickr

Volunteering can cost money in the long run. Students are less likely to participate in activities if they are donating a little more than they can afford. Donating food and other goods can be costly. Students who look for ways to get involved on campus and in the community can find different ways through school organizations or community organizations to give back without having to spend money.

Buying items that are on sale, finding items family or friends are giving away or simply making something nonperishable and nutritious is inexpensive. Additionally, service opportunities that don't involve giving food away can be ideal for those who are looking to save their money for other opportunities.

Many organizations host events that help provide awareness and support for a specific cause, disease or disorder. These can be ideal for students who are looking to give back to their respective communities while saving money. Also, opportunities to have friends, relatives and other peers purchase items that help an organization flourish such as Girl Scout cookies and holiday apparel can be a great way to help an organization out by having others make donations and purchases that don't cost you anything at all.

There are various service opportunities that can help students get involved without spending any money at all. Some service organizations allow students to clean up certain areas that are nearby their homes or colleges.

For example, I was a member of an organization at my high school that took students to a local beach and had us assist in cleaning up the garbage and other things that were polluting it and negatively affecting the physical structure of it and the wildlife that inhabited the area. We also were able to make sandwiches that were sent to homeless shelters that helped feed the homeless individuals living there during major holidays and even during other times of the year. Experiences like these can be extremely rewarding. The best part is that I didn't spend a single dime. My school had funded every resource that we needed to complete the task at hand.

Marist offers students many opportunities to become involved in service organizations. Campus Ministry provides students various opportunities to serve the community quite frequently. The community service program gives students the opportunity to travel to various places to give services and time such as aftercare programs for children that are members of economically underdeveloped families in inner city Poughkeepsie.  Campus Ministry provides transportation to and from the school, and all necessary items for volunteering are provided. Organizations on campus such as Habitat for Humanity, Campus Sustainability and others offer students opportunities to serve not only the city of Poughkeepsie, but also other areas surrounding Marist's campus.

Marist College provides wonderful opportunities for students to get involved in the community while allowing them to save money. Marist's sense of community and strong record of service are not only embodied by the faculty, but by all of the student body who wish to make this campus and community a better place.   

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