This past MLK Day, I participated in a Day of Service in the Milledgeville community. The GIVE Center partnered with Communities in Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County to have volunteers visit different elementary schools. People rescued balls lost on the other side of the fence, spread mulch around playground equipment, gave a fresh coat of paint inside schools and worked on their green thumbs.
One of the things I found profound was that it was not solely Georgia College students, but also GMC students and community members. Although GC students are one of the most philanthropic student bodies in the state, I can rarely recall a time where I volunteered with a group of people that was not wholly made up of GC students. GC students are not the only ones out there trying to better the community.
As the campus is having ongoing discussions about increasing civic engagement and diversity, I believe a solution exists not on campus, but off our grounds and in the community. One of the best ways of accomplishing this is through volunteering with different nonprofits, such as Habitat for Humanity and Communities in Schools. We are fortunate enough to have The GIVE Center as a valuable resource for students to learn and participate in opportunities to volunteer in the community.
If students volunteer in the Milledgeville community, we have a greater opportunity to interact with the local students and show them that GC is a place that allows you to practice the skills acquired to promote civic learning and community outreach. This follows this year’s QEP theme, to “Build a Culture of Engaged Learning”, as we work to help GC students become informed citizen leaders in order to serve the public good.
– Sean Espinosa