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Posts Tagged ‘volunteering’

Help! Participating in National Volunteer Week (April 23-29)

National Volunteer Week…an opportunity to give back, to devote time, energy and emotion to helping others. And what an ideal opportunity to show students the multitude of benefits–tangible and intangible–of working together to help make the world around them a better place.

The concept of National Volunteer Week was born in 1974 when President Richard Nixon established, with an executive order, an effort to encourage people of all ages to contribute to the betterment of their communities.

Volunteering Research Topic

Volunteering Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

The list of ways to volunteer in your area is endless. And absolutely anyone can do it: students, retirees, folks with plenty of free time, and even those with very busy life schedules.

Many companies, like ProQuest, offer Volunteer Days to their employees. Whether it’s organizing and boxing up goods at a local food bank, or mulching and raking a trail at a nature preserve, no feeling quite equals the satisfaction of helping others.

ProQuest employees volunteering at Dare to Care food bank

(Photo Courtesy of ProQuest)

ProQuest employees volunteering at Creasey-Mahan Nature Preserve

(Photo Courtesy of ProQuest)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Volunteers help drive our country’s progress, and day in and day out, they make extraordinary sacrifices to expand promise and possibility. During National Volunteer Week, let us shed the cynicism that says one person cannot make a difference in the lives of others by embracing each of our individual responsibilities to serve and shape a brighter future for all.”

President Barack Obama (2016)

 

Back to School Bash

Photo by Spirit of Giving Network via Facebook

Every year Palm Beach County, Florida helps students as they get ready for back to school. As a partner with United Way, we at ProQuest were privileged and excited to participate in this annual event!

The 2015 Community Back to School Bash (BASH) took place on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, 2015. BASH works with nonprofit organizations throughout Palm Beach County. It serves disadvantaged and at-risk students from grades pre-K through 12 by providing school supplies such as crayons, pencils, backpacks, notebooks, binders plus school uniforms, shoes and much more.

BASH started in 1995 and “assisted 120 children. It has since grown to include over 70 non-profit agencies serving more than 12,000 children.” The 2015 event had over 16,000 children registered. Take a moment to visit their website and see the great work this organization does.

Sponsored by the United Way, the Spirit of Giving Network and other organizations, the annual event takes place in four locations: Belle Glade, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and Delray Beach. On Friday, volunteers took inventory, unpacked, sorted and merchandised the donations. Several ProQuest editors volunteered at the set-up event at Village Academy in Delray Beach. Three thousand children were expected so there was a lot of work to be done! Volunteers spent time counting, unpacking boxes, folding uniforms and t-shirts, setting up the shoes and merchandising eight tables with the school supplies. Working alongside other local volunteers, we were able to get everything ready for the kids and it was certainly a proud moment for all!

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ProQuest volunteer Jaclyn sets up the high school table.
Photo by Ilana Cohen

On Saturday, the children were paired up with personal shoppers to escort them through the “store”. Parents also received health and career counseling. Children were given haircuts, dental check-ups, and a free lunch.

The tremendous turnout for the Back to School Bash speaks to the need in our community. Although Palm Beach County is considered to be an affluent area, there are still thousands of students whose families cannot afford basic school supplies. The burden also falls on teachers who often use their own money to buy school supplies and classroom items for their students.

This was our third year participating this awesome event and we look forward to returning next year to help students start their school year equipped with resources they need to succeed.

National Poverty in America Awareness Month

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month. Poverty is not an easy topic to talk about—especially with children. It can be a scary topic for young minds and hearts, as any discussion of poverty also means considering the hunger, cold, homelessness, and fear that may accompany it. But with millions of Americans living in poverty, it is an issue worth addressing.

Once students learn about poverty and how it affects many Americans, they may become inspired to help. What can they do to make a difference?

Volunteers at Daily Bread Food Bank<br /> by Photographer Mitchel Raphael on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 [Public Domain]

Volunteers at Daily Bread Food Bank
by Photographer Mitchel Raphael on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 [Public Domain]

You may want to introduce them to young activist Zach Bonner. While an elementary-school student in 2009, he walked 668 miles from Atlanta, Georgia, to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about homeless children. He raised tens of thousands of dollars to help kids living in poverty. Pretty inspirational!

Or talk with them about Ava Kuslansky, who helps collect food from restaurants and grocery stores and distribute it to homeless people in her city. Or Katy Ross, who joined a food-assistance organization that helps feed hungry people breakfast. Each of these kids has worked to make a difference in the lives of people struggling with poverty.

There are many organizations that reach out and provide assistance to homeless and hungry Americans, such as the Salvation Army and Blessings in a Backpack. Teach your students about these groups and their histories.

Educating kids about the social benefits and personal significance of helping others is just one of the valuable lessons that can be taught during National Poverty in America Awareness Month. Visit SIRS Discoverer during the month of January to find articles, Web sites, photos, and more about the poverty in America and what people and organizations are doing to help.

Starting the School Year Off Right!

Every year Palm Beach County, FL helps students as they get ready for back to school. As a partner with United Way, we at ProQuest were privileged and excited to participate in this event!

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Photo by Spirit of Giving Network via Facebook

 

The 2014 Community Back to School Bash (BASH) took place on Friday, August 8 and Saturday, August 9, 2014. BASH works with nonprofit organizations throughout Palm Beach County, Florida. It serves disadvantaged and at-risk students from grades pre-K through 12 by providing school supplies such as crayons, pencils, backpacks, notebooks, binders plus school uniforms, shoes and much more.

BASH started in 1995 and “assisted 120 children. It has since grown to include over 70 non-profit agencies serving more than 12,000 children.” Take a moment to visit their website and see the great work this organization does.

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ProQuest volunteers help set up the store!
Photo by Giselle Gerber

Sponsored by the United Way, the Spirit of Giving Network and other organizations, the annual event takes place in three locations: Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and Delray Beach.  On Friday volunteers took inventory, unpacked, sorted and merchandised the donations. Several ProQuest editors volunteered at the set-up event at Village Academy in Delray Beach. Three thousand children were expected and so there was a lot of work to be done! We spent time counting, unpacking boxes, folding uniforms and t-shirts, setting up the shoes and merchandising eight tables with the school supplies. Working alongside other local volunteers, we were able to get everything ready for the kids and it was certainly a proud moment for all!

10599557_914586398556866_6145673557758565526_n

Student with her personal shopper.
Photo by Spirit of Giving Network via Facebook

On Saturday, the children were paired up with personal shoppers to escort them though the “store”. Parents also received health and career counseling. Children were given haircuts, dental checkups plus a chance to play and a free lunch.

This was our second year participating this awesome event and we look forward to returning next year to help students start their school year equipped with resources they need to succeed.

Community Service at ProQuest

ProQuest operates under a set of values that guide our decision-making and define who we are and how we behave. ProQuest values “Community” because “We are citizens of the world and understand our responsibility within it.” To underscore the importance of this value, ProQuest provides every employee the opportunity to use work time to participate in community service endeavors. Our staff in Boca Raton, Florida, explored a variety of volunteer opportunities this year.

ProQuest's Boca Raton Staff

ProQuest’s Boca Raton Staff Members

The group pictured wasn’t afraid to get a little dirt on their hands as they helped build a Habitat for Humanity home. Other staff members participated in literacy projects, and visited senior citizen facilities and Head Start programs. We organized diaper drives and collected back-to-school supplies. We will finish our year of volunteering by preparing and serving lunch at a local soup kitchen that provides meals for low-income and homeless individuals in our community. It’s been a great learning experience to see the extent of the need in our community, but we’ve also had fun coming together as a team outside of our regular work environment.

What experiences do you have with community service work? Does your institution use volunteer help? Or perhaps your students have to meet volunteer requirements as a condition for graduation? ProQuest’s K-12 products can help researchers interested in learning more about this subject. Search Community service and Volunteers in ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher or check out the Volunteering Research Topic in eLibrary.

Share the Holidays with SIRS Discoverer

The holidays are a time of receiving but also of giving. SIRS Discoverer is where you can research ideas that are about helping others during the holidays and all year round. Use the Browse Subject Tree feature to find articles, websites, photos and graphics about volunteering, personal growth and social activism. Volunteering in your local community, donating things you no longer want or need, helping a charity or spending time with those less fortunate are all ways to give back.  Some helpful articles to get you started are Is There a Hero in You? and Charitable Birthdays Redefine Giving for Kids. It’s never too late to help someone else, and SIRS Discoverer has the resources to show you how. Use your talents this season to help a charity or promote a cause. You’ll be glad you did!