Project Community guides students to service projects

Most Guilford students have attended volunteer fairs or participated in events such as the Soup Bowl, but few students understand the driving force behind these events.

This force is Project Community, whose campus influence is widespread for such a small organization.

“Project Community is the umbrella organization that covers all the service opportunities,” said senior and Project Coordinator Noelle Lane. “We’re always welcoming new ideas.”

Lane, along with Project Coordinators sophomore Nora Prokosch, senior Khristina Hensley and senior Amburee Edwards are always accepting new volunteers through email, phone calls or a visit to the Bonner house.

In the past year or so, several projects have come out of Project Community, including Bonner sites Roads to College and Guilford College Mental Health Outreach, although you do not have to be a Bonner Scholar to get involved.

“Project Community was started over 20 years ago when we got our Bonner program,” said Director of the Bonner Center for Community Service James Shields. “Bonner isn’t just to create one group or clique of students involved in service but to create a culture of service on campus.”

Even amongst the existing community service sites on campus, Project Community serves its own unique purpose.

“We make on site connections and promote community service on campus,” said Prokosch.

Most students have probably attended Project Community events without even realizing it, such as the biannual blood drive. This semester’s blood drive is scheduled for December.

“It’s a really convenient way to help people,” said sophomore Leah Whetten-Goldstein. “I didn’t need the blood, and blood can make a life or death difference.”

After winning the spring 2014 Dick Dyer Award for Outstanding Service Organizing for the Year, Project Community organizers have some exciting plans for the future.

“We’re starting a brown-bag lunch series this year to give students a safe space to talk about issues that they’re very passionate about,” said Hensley. “I want us to grow out into the community. I want to make connections.”

Getting involved is easy, even if you are not a Bonner Scholar. For those of you who want to help but do not know where, Project Community has an answer for that, too.

“Project Community gives students an option of where they want to go and what sites they want to do,” said Hensley. “If a student wants to do service, they come to us and see exactly what it is that they want.”

Have a new idea for a service site?  Even better.

“Project Community is the place you go when you have a new idea you want to get started,” said Lane.

Between the upcoming Kids Fest and brand-new projects, this is going to be a great year to get involved.

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