MSUToday
Published: April 7, 2020

Volunteer programming goes virtual

Contact(s): Jocelyn Tucker University Communications tucker90@msu.edu, Beth Brauer University Communications Beth.Brauer-Delaney@cabs.msu.edu, Renee Brown office: 517.353.4400 rcbrown@msu.edu

Service and acts of philanthropy are always needed, especially in times of crisis. With the need to practice social distancing, opportunities may seem limited.

The MSU Center for Community Engaged Learning is working to provide opportunities for students to give back to their communities while at home. 

In response to the pandemic, the center developed a list of virtual volunteer opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students — many of whom are committed to contributing a minimum of 100 hours of service to earn the Spartan Volunteer Service Award, or SVSA.

One opportunity brings comfort to troops, first-responders and emergency medical personnel by sending them handmade crafts and letters to show gratitude. 

Another opportunity allows volunteers to create audio books through a free public domain by reading and recording chapters for others to listen.

Students are able to track their community engagement hours through the MSU Civic Life App, allowing them to continue working towards the SVSA.

Volunteering will help students stay connected to their purpose, be productive and continue their commitment to their communities.

“In times of uncertainty, when so many are not able to manage their daily lives, it is reassuring that we are useful and can serve others,” said Renee Brown, director of the Center for Community Engaged Learning. “I believe in the human spirit and the human desire to help. Some of the new ways of helping will certainly carry forward after the pandemic.”

The center is working to expand the list of volunteer opportunities in the weeks ahead. Local community partners are also transitioning to virtual environments and will be added to the list upon request. 

A full list of virtual volunteering opportunities may be found at MSU - CCEL Virtual Volunteering Information.