Drake offers a wide array of volunteer activities that cater to the busy schedules of students.
“The opportunities to volunteer here are endless; you just have to find your niche,” first-year Grey Giovanine said.
Junior Ella Ehrhardt agrees.
“A great thing about Drake is there are a lot of people willing to volunteer and a ton of opportunities to do so,” she said.
One volunteer opportunity that students can participate in is Feel Good Friday. Every Friday, students can go to a different area non-profit organization. This allows students to try out a large variety of volunteer opportunities. By volunteering, students can really make a difference in the Drake community. Some previous Feel Good Friday activities were painting at the Youth Emergency Service Shelter, joining the Habitat for Humanity Community Build and volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club. On any given Friday, about five to 20 students will participate in a Feel Good Friday activity.
“I think it is really important to volunteer,” sophomore Hillary Johnson said. “There are so many opportunities I didn’t know about before coming to Drake.”
A newer option for students is Alternative Spring Break. Last year, the first trip took place. Six students went to Kentucky and built a home for a family that they actually got to meet. Leigh Thiedeman, director of fraternity and sorority life, said she would like to see Alternative Spring Break offered again.
There are a few challenges for programs like Feel Good Friday and Alternative Spring Break, such as timing and finding students who are interested. Students have extremely busy lives and it can be hard to give up what little free time they have left.
“I think it would be hard to get students to go on an alternative Spring Break trip, but I think it is a nice idea for those who are interested,” first-year Jordan Hyde said.
An opportunity that is going on right now that everyone can easily get involved in is the 3-Mile Project. By just donating a few cans of food you can help. Students can swipe their cards at any Sodexo location to buy $5 or $10 worth of cans.
“I think the 3-Mile Project is a great idea,” Hyde said. “It is really easy, but we’re still making a difference.”
It is also a bit of a competition between a variety of organizations and the residence halls.
“I like that campus-wide activities, such as the 3-Mile Project, offer friendly competition for a good cause,” first-year Amy Frew said. “I’d love to see more opportunities that involve the whole entire campus.”
Despite their busy schedules, Drake students continue to give back. This is evident by the large variety of clubs on campus dedicated to service such as Alpha Phi Omega and Habitat for Humanity.
“We know students want to give back, so we want to give them opportunities that work for them,” Thiedeman said. ”We are working to publicize events for students that fit a variety of schedules.”
If you want to get involved with Feel Good Friday, email email@example.com or join the Facebook group, “FGF: It’s The New TGIF”. Also, keep an eye out for posters around campus that advertise volunteer opportunities.