Students gain experience though volunteering

 

At Gannon University, a certain number of service hours are required for each student. Two opportunities to rack up service hours are volunteering at the Kids Cafe and the A.N.N.A. Shelter.

Kids Cafe is a volunteer process that allows Gannon students to mentor children from the local area. Each week, Gannon students meet with the students after school.

Gannon students get to play sports with the local children, as well as help them with homework.

Kids Cafe is said to be very beneficial because it keeps the local children off the streets and the Gannon students can be role models for the children.

There are also benefits for the parents as well because the Gannon students mentor their children while they are at work and it is a free nonprofit service.

The A.N.N.A. Shelter is an animal shelter that helps stray animals get adopted, and students can volunteer to work there to help the animals.

Holly Dill, a sophomore double major in biology and fresh water and marine biology, volunteered for the A.N.N.A. Shelter through her service sorority.

Dill said that students who volunteer there scoop litter boxes, walk dogs, clean walls and do other activities involved with animal care.

“It’s a nice shelter,” Dill said, “I would recommend volunteering there to anyone who likes animals.”

The Kids Cafe would be a good service option for anybody who likes children. One gets involved in the Kids Cafe by going to a Gannon residence hall and looking for an informational flier hanging out that asks for volunteers.

Natalie Yurkovic, a sophomore, said that one just need is to add one’s name to the list and show up to the residence hall at the proper signup time.

North Hall resident director Yih Tsao said that the signup sheets in North Hall are by the elevator, and North Hall visits Kids Cafe every Thursday.

Many Gannon students said they enjoyed spending time at Kids Cafe.

“My experience with Kids Cafe was a blast,” Yurkovic said. “I loved playing with the children and making their day. It helped let go of some of my stress. I enjoyed going every week, and I looked forward to it every week.”

Kids Cafe does not only benefit the children, but it benefits Gannon students as well. For example, Kids Cafe has been described as a great way for students to take a break from the stress of class while earning service hours.

“I think it’s beneficial because it takes you away from the college experience and destress by playing with these children,” Yurkovic said.

There are also learning experiences for the college students not just for the children. These are not just people managing and teaching skills but the chance for Gannon students to learn about people around them and make a difference in the community.

“The kids have affected me by realizing how innocent they are and how they don’t get stressed out like we do,” Yurkovic said. “It helps me think that in some way, I’m making a difference in their lives by giving them attention and help.”

 

MIKE FUJITO

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