Bridging the Gap Between Guilford and Greensboro
September 12, 2002
Filed under Archives
With 12 ongoing volunteer opportunities, a helpful staff, and the resources to support student ideas for new service-based projects, Project Community enables Guilford students to enrich the Greensboro community. Project Community, located in the basement of Founders, makes it easy for students to participate in community learning by maintaining ties with Greensboro service organizations and training student volunteers.
Community learning involves getting to know the surrounding area (in our case, Greensboro) and finding ways in which we can make it better.
It is also an opportunity to learn about the realities of life outside of Guilford.
“We want them [students] to be agents of change and to see the community for what it is,” said James Shields, Guilford’s Director of Community Learning. “We want to dispel some of the preconceived notions people have.”
One way that students can be agents of change is to sign up for one of Project Community’s 12 established volunteer sites. Shields said that Guilford has worked with some of these sites for over five years.
Project Community volunteer opportunities range from helping African families adjust to life in America to spending time with U.S. veterans at the Servant Center.
Shields says that the most popular volunteer sites are Pathways Tutoring Program for children, Prison Literacy, and Montagnard Dega Association.
Other volunteer sites include educating students through the Aids about A.I.D.S. program, working on environmental projects at the Piedmont Environmental Center, and tutoring at the Greensboro Buddhist Center.
Project Community can also be a valuable resource for Bonner Scholars who are required to perform community service to receive their scholarships. Claire Dixon, the Bonner Scholar Coordinator, said that it is easy for Bonners to participate in Project Communitie’s established programs.
Project Community also welcomes student proposals for volunteer projects that are related to community service, social change, or awareness.
“Project Community has connections and financial resources to help you get your project underway,” said Shields. With the help of Project Community, students began a new volunteer site with Habitat for Humanity last year.
Project Community sponsors the Volunteer Fair every fall to provide a way for students to find out about volunteer opportunities and sign up to participate. Sophomore Genna Cohen, a Project Coordinator for Project Community, said, “This year’s fair was great. We had tons of people who were interested in volunteering.”
For those of us with busy schedules, there is a volunteer opportunity nearly every day of the week. Cohen also said that there are one-time volunteering opportunities during the year that help nourish the larger programs.
Smaller opportunities include the Bonner Memorial Soup Bowl and on-campus trick-or-treating. During the Soup Bowl, Guilford and Greensboro College will compete to see who can collect the most canned food. It will be held throughout the week before Sept. 21. On Halloween, children from all the major volunteer sites come to trick-or-treat at the doors of Guilford students who volunteer to give out candy.
“Project Community is here for all students. It’s for anyone who has an interest and wants to help,” said Shields.