At Concordia, you begin your responsible engagement in the world through engaging discussions and classroom activities. Many students decide to take it a step further and volunteer within the Fargo-Moorhead community.
Senior Adam Kolling, commissioner of Concordia’s Campus Service Commission (CSC) [now a part of Campus Events Commission], says he found the value of volunteering through his participation in Hands for Change, a community service event held during orientation week.
“Since our freshman year, there has been a lot of emphasis on becoming responsibly engaged and service is a big part of that,” Kolling says. “Even though we’re only here for four years, there’s an opportunity to make a lasting impact.”
Even though we’re only here for four years, there’s an opportunity to make a lasting impact. – Adam Kolling '17
Now after several years of working with CSC, Kolling shares his list of top places to volunteer in Fargo-Moorhead:
This is one of the most popular venues for Cobbers to volunteer. Located just south of Concordia, you can walk over to participate in the Adopt-a-Grandparent program. Students are matched with a resident and can visit their “grandparent” once a week to keep them company.
This program works with people who did not complete high school, as well as New Americans such as refugees. You have the opportunity to help others learn English, work to obtain citizenship, computer skills, and prepare to obtain a GED.
Another volunteer location close to campus, you can take a break from your studies to hang out with kids and the kids have the chance to play with new people – a win-win situation for all.
Volunteers work with children from at-risk families, including those where the child may be at risk of abuse or neglect, or whose parents have developmental disabilities or mental illness. You can assist with children in the classroom and play area, giving them attention and helping them with school assignments as needed.
At the YWCA, you can partake in a variety of activities. From preparing meals to landscaping to playing games with kids, Cobbers can give back in any form they choose.
The Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization opens its doors to volunteers who help sort and pack the donations for the local and international communities who receive help for basic medical needs.
You help with office and clerical work, cleaning, planning special events, and assisting in the childcare facilities. Volunteers can become a Crisis Intervention Advocate to provide direct assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Every year, you can participate in a service-learning spring break experience where you can travel across the United States to build homes for families in need. Learn how last year’s trips went.
At the center, volunteers can help make a difference in a patient’s life through helping in patient services to spreading awareness through social media. Each year, Concordia hosts Relay for Life where students develop teams who walk on a track overnight to raise funds for research. The purpose of this event is to honor survivors and remember those we have lost.
Events on Campus
Not all students can commit to volunteering every week. CSC has recognized this and provides occasional on-campus volunteer opportunities. Some of these activities include Feed My Starving Children, an organization that packages food to ship globally to children in need; Project Linus, creating tie blankets for critically ill children at Sanford Hospital; clothing drives; and fundraisers.
Sage Larson '17 is studying multimedia journalism and Spanish.