Emory Report
August 31, 2009
Volume 62, Number 2

Rollins-teer Day
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Get involved

Here is a sample of Volunteer Emory events that are open to faculty and staff this fall.

For more information, visit http://volunteer.emory.edu.

SEPT. 8–9
Volunteer Fair

11 a.m.–1 p.m. Coca-Cola Commons, Dobbs Center. Twenty community agencies will be there to recruit volunteers.

SEPT. 26
Sports Camp
11 a.m.–2 p.m. McDonough Field. Local youth participate in recreational activities on campus.

OCT. 3
Hands On Atlanta
Gandhi Day

9 a.m.–1 p.m. Location TBA.
In honor of Mohandas Gandhi’s birthday, Volunteer Emory selects a Hands On Atlanta service project.

OCT. 10–13
Alternative Fall Break
Community service planned in Savannah, Americus and Atlanta.

OCT. 18

Noon–4 p.m., Piedmont Park. Walkathon fundraiser to raise money for AIDS.

NOV. 14
Emory Cares Day
1 p.m.–5 p.m. Various locations. Simultaneous service projects occur in Atlanta and across the globe.

DEC. 1
World AIDS Day and
Quilt on the Quad
Time TBA, Emory Quad. Presentation of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.




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August 31, 2009
Volunteer Emory to host a service fair

By Margie Fishman

It was a bittersweet homecoming for Center for Women Director Dona Yarbrough when she traveled to Leland, Miss., last spring with nine other Emory volunteers to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.

As part of Volunteer Emory’s alternative spring break, the group stained cabinets, and hung sheetrock by day. By night, they dined on country fried steak and green beans with fatback, serenaded by a youth choir.

With shotgun shacks bursting at the seams, Leland offered a window into the rural South and domestic poverty for the student and staff volunteers, who “sometimes forget that it’s in our own backyard,” says Yarbrough, who grew up there.

“I knew I was going to be doing a good thing,” she adds. “I didn’t realize that I was going to love it as much as I did.”

This fall, Volunteer Emory is offering a number of opportunities for faculty and staff to give back. Founded by two Emory undergraduates in 1980, the program is part of the Office of Student Leadership & Service and organizes at least

15 weekly service trips for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Faculty and staff can choose to volunteer alongside Emory students or volunteer individually or in small groups, from training shelter dogs in basic obedience to leading naturalization classes for new Americans. Volunteer Emory will host a fair on Sept. 8 and 9, where prospective volunteers can connect with 20 different community agencies. Later in September, volunteers are needed to lead games at a sports camp that brings 100 students from local elementary schools to campus.

The spirit of service kicked off last week when the University hosted three annual service days for public health students, freshmen and sophomores at Rollins-teer Service Day, Freshman Service Day and Sophomores Serve. Students’ efforts supported community agencies such as PushPush Theater, Samaritan House of Atlanta and the Eastside Parks Network.

Fostering meaningful community partnerships for students is aligned with the University’s strategic mission to prepare engaged scholars, says Volunteer Emory Coordinator Harold McNaron.

Faculty and staff will lead three alternative fall break trips for students this year, building homes in Americus, Ga., working in a Savannah food bank and conducting outreach for the Atlanta Harm Reduction Center, a public health program closer to home.

While those slots are full, McNaron is still recruiting group leaders for an alternative spring break trip helping seniors with home repairs in southwest Virginia, and for Emory Cares Day in November. That is when the University and its global network of alumni coordinate service projects, ranging from removing invasive plants from a local nature preserve to making thousands of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless.

Many volunteer opportunities are hands-on, says McNaron, who is working with the
Office of University-Community Partnerships to encourage faculty and staff to use their academic research or job expertise to benefit local agencies.

“Working alongside students affords a different connection for faculty and staff than they would normally get from the classroom or an administrative perspective,” he says.