Volunteering can be a great way to connect with other people and the community, and help students feel they’re making an impact on others. Mavs in Action (MIA) aspires to do just that.
Mavs in Action is an organization based out of the Community Engagement Office that allows students to plan volunteer opportunities and participate in service projects each week.
Last Thursday, the group gathered together in the Family Consumer Science Education Lab to create and sew mittens for those unable to purchase winter clothing. Other projects MIA has done include making dog toys and making cards for people in hospitals and nursing homes.
Some students want to volunteer, but don’t have the time due to schoolwork and extracurriculars. MIA President Hannah Minet said students who want to volunteer over spring break can sign up for a so-called Alternative Spring Break, which allows students to gain up to 25 volunteer hours.
“[Alternative Spring Break] is low cost because a lot of people travel over spring break, but not everyone can afford it. Students get to volunteer in a group and get to do something good for their soul and the community,” Minet said.
Minet said she started volunteering during the pandemic when she felt isolated and didn’t have a lot to do. Volunteering helped her have something to do and connect with the community.
“I felt like I was doing something good with my time. I feel that if you have free time and you want to help others, why not do it?” Minet said.
Besides meeting others, volunteering can open doors for a variety of opportunities students can partake in. Before Vice President Jacob Rangitsch came to MSU, he didn’t do a lot of volunteering in high school. Now, he’s signed up for several volunteering events and became the Community Service Chair for Sigma Nu.
“I want to be able to say that I can help people and find different ways to provide for people that may be less fortunate than me. It’s been really impactful and rewarding for me,” Rangitsch said. “I want to be able to say I’ve done everything.”
Students often volunteer in order to get class credit or to add to a resume. Freshman Ashlynn Leskey said students shouldn’t view volunteering as a way to benefit their own life, but instead to help others.
“I don’t think that volunteering should be viewed in that lens of how can you improve yourself. It’s how you help others by taking a compassionate stance,” Leskey said.
Sophomore Jake Hauser heard about MIA online after searching for a club to join and has attended every meeting so far this year. Hauser said students should volunteer to not only meet new people, but feel grateful.
“It’s one hour a week where I can take my mind off of homework and work on volunteering. It’s a great way of giving back to the community and meeting new people,” Hauser said.
For students looking to get connected with MIA, students can attend weekly meetings at 4 p.m. Thursdays in CSU 238.
Header Photo: Last Thursday, Mavs in Action got together to create mittens for those unable to purchase winter clothing for their weekly service project. (Dominic Bothe/The Reporter)
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