Suppose you’re looking for ways to get involved within the community and give back through acts of service. In that case, the Metropolitan Volunteer Program offers various opportunities that fit every student’s needs.
MVP has reopened its services for the new school year with events and outreach. MVP director Taylor Laredo shares some insight into the importance of volunteering and making an impact on and off campus.
“MVP caters to four of our committees, health and wellness, children’s education, environmental sustainability and hunger and homelessness,” Laredo said. “I encourage people to look for little ways they can make an impact. It doesn’t just have to be collaborating with an existing nonprofit community, it might just mean reaching out to someone in need, donating money or your clothes.”
On the first day of classes, MVP held its “Be the MVP” event where students met with the program board and learned ways to connect with their community and find out about service opportunities throughout the school year.
Between classes, students enjoyed prizes, food and a giveaway at the student center as a kickoff for the start of the semester.
“Here at this event we provide students the opportunity to complete four mini service projects as well as advertising future volunteering events for all of the weeks of welcome,” Laredo said.
For the school year, MVP is setting up multiple volunteer opportunities such as Cougar Cupboard and the campus food pantry in September. Another service is a kid’s meal bag decorating event for the organization Kids’ Meals who bags food for children in need.
MVP encourages environmental sustainability and are planning for Urban Harvest and other community garden days. Next opportunity to look out for is in partnership with the Baylor Teen Health Clinic for a project on packaging medical supplies in the US and other countries which is all coming up in September as well.
“I’d say my favorite part about the event is that tell us what we’re supposed to do and they explain who we’re helping out and what type of community service we’ve been doing to help our community,” said exercise science freshman Annali Scott.
Dedicated and hardworking students can work towards the President’s Volunteer Service Award by logging any volunteer hours throughout the school year and even from summer.
Laredo shares that MVP works with a few non profits around Houston that students can take advantage of on their own. Organizations like Loaves and Fishes, Houston Food Bank and the BARC Animal Shelter accommodate solo and group volunteers.
“It’s mostly important that students find causes that they’re passionate about,” Laredo said. “There are so many ways students can help out and impact their community within their interests.”