SERVE looks forward to volunteering opportunities in the coming semester

SERVE has embarked on what promises to be a busy semester. According to Graduate Assistant of Student and Leadership Services Andie Flavel, more community service volunteers are needed and welcome.


SERVE, which coordinates volunteering events for students, works with clubs on campus, student government, Badger Alternative Breaks, Laraway school, Johnson food shelf, and North Country Animal Shelter, among other local organizations.


“I personally get from it fulfillment in a way. It just feels really good to go out into the community and give back,” said Joe Smith, marketer for the SERVE organization and Johnson State College student. “I noticed that there was a lack of community presence involved with volunteering opportunities — there wasn’t a lot around here in Lamoille County.”


Flavel noted that she would like to see a broader representation of students participating in the volunteer projects. “I’d just really like to expand our horizon and get our numbers up,” she said. “Volunteering can be not only a kind thing to do, but it’s good for networking and it’s good for resumés. Looking back on my college experience, I wish I had done more volunteering just because I met a lot of good people that I’m still in touch with, and I was able to get one of my jobs because I met one of the people that were on the hiring staff at a teeter totter volunteering event.”


SERVE just recently finished assisting the Pride Fest and the Lamoille County service project, which provided Johnson State students and members of the community a chance to work together to chop wood for the families in need.


On Sept. 19 and 21, JSC students traveled to an apple orchard to collect all the apples that a machine had shaken off trees. Volunteers in this gleaning event harvested the good ones, which will be donated to food shelves and families in the community.


On Saturday, Sept. 23, the office sponsored an orientation visit with North Country Animal Shelter during which volunteers helped clean kennels for the animals.


SERVE will be sponsoring an upcoming blood drive, which is one of their biggest events they hold every year.


SERVE will also be involved in the working with students in after-school programs in the region, specifically with DREAM. “[It’s] an organization that helps kids in low income communities,” said Flavel. “They hang out with them at the after-school program and they do crafts, they go on walks, they go on small field trips — they just give younger kids someone to look up to.”


SERVE will continue to help with community meals, an event that takes place every other Wednesday at the United Church of Johnson. The SERVE volunteers will get there at 11:15 a.m. and will help serve and clean up food at the event. The community meals are open to everyone.


Other upcoming events will include assemblage of Thanksgiving baskets for distribution to low-income families in the area and a Veterans dinner in November.


“It’s important that when you have a college in a town as small as Johnson that everyone gets to stay involved,” said Flavel. “The college has a lot to offer the community and the community has a lot to offer the college.”