June 27, 2019 | 84° F

Continue giving back on campus with full guide of organizations looking for help


Courtesy of Jessica Glickman | The Scarlet Anchor Society is a group of Naval ROTC cadets who volunteer their time to raise funds for activities their unit participates in. They also volunteer for events like the Scarlet Day of Service.

On Saturday, Sept. 23, Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) hosted its annual "Scarlet Day of Service," which aimed to inspire all Rutgers students to give back to the community and volunteer.

Scarlet Day of Service gives more than 1,000 students the opportunity to serve New Jersey by cleaning up outdoor spaces and local communities, working with youth and senior citizens and more.

At this year’s service event, students served the Rutgers Gardens and did their part to end homelessness and hunger. Volunteer work that involved community building was also available, as students volunteered for the Rutgers Public Library, the Franklin Township Baseball League and the Franklin Day Festival.

While the Scarlet Day of Service may have put many in the mood to give back, not all Rutgers students were able to attend. If you missed out on great volunteer services and are looking to get involved? Luckily, it’s never too late to help out.

Here are some other ways Rutgers students can give back in New Brunswick:

Getting involved with the Rutgers Off-Campus Living and Community Partnerships is a great place to start. “One of the things we focus on in Off-Campus Living and Community Partnerships is that students should be giving back to the local community,” said Caryn Washington, the assistant director of the organization. “No matter if a student lives on-campus, off-campus or if they commute, they spend a lot of time in our local community, whether it be going to school or just socializing with friends.” The Semester of Service is a program that provides opportunities for semester-long service commitments for volunteers looking to gain meaningful and consistent experiences.

 Not looking for a long-term commitment, but still looking to help out? 

The organization also offers a number of service days for students that require only two to six hours of the day, that focus on community cleanups. To get involved in a way that’s totally commitment-free, the Rutgers Food Pantry is also run out of the Rutgers Off-Campus Living and Community Partnerships department, so food donations and organizations who are interested in holding donation drives for the pantry are always welcome.

Finding ways to be involved has now gone digital: subscribe to the weekly listserv “Give Where You Live” for weekly updates about where you can volunteer. The listserv announces services submitted by organizations affiliated with Rutgers University and other local charities. Volunteer Match website is also a great place that regularly posts listings of volunteer work needed in the City of New Brunswick and Middlesex County areas.

With Rutgers being a large and diverse community, there’s never an excuse not to get involved and volunteer. Whether it be a traditional community clean-up or working for an organization that tends to a cause close to your heart, volunteering at Rutgers offers something for everyone.

Clarissa Gordon

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