Essays. Exams. Research. Homework. Despite our loaded schedules and the constant crunch to find time for ourselves, it is important to not forget about members of our community who rely on the work of volunteers to meet their basic needs.
From the homeless to the elderly, there are so many people in the MTSU, Murfreesboro, and Middle Tennessee communities that would benefit greatly from just a few hours of your time. We all bleed the same True Blue, so here are some ways to get involved and make a positive impact on lives around you!
Participate in a truly big event
You may not know this, but the university puts on a wide array of events designed to get their students to lend a helping hand in the local area. These are some incredible opportunities due to the fact that they’re tailored toward YOU, a student!
For example, the Student Government Association organizes an MTSU edition of The Big Event, a nationwide program that results in the largest one-day community service project for college students. SGA partners with the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership and the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties to set up various sites in the community where students work on projects that make a difference.
From planting trees and building play areas to delivering meals and organizing donation drives, students from all backgrounds come together to perform awesome acts of service for those who need it most.
Enjoy a different kind of Spring Break
Looking to make plans for Spring Break? Every year, the Student Organization and Service Office sponsors Alternative Spring Break, another national program where college students take a trip focused on community service. It is a phenomenal way to have one of the best spring breaks ever, all while helping other people!
Typically, the organizers of the event will choose one focus area, such as homelessness or the environment, and finds organizations to work with and help their cause.
The experience has been described as life-changing, and it is easy to see why. You’ll meet new friends, help countless people, all while having an enjoyable spring break. Sign us up!
Bleed Blue, Beat WKU!
Oh, and we couldn’t possibly forget about our yearly competitive blood drive versus Western Kentucky University – the Blood Battle! On the field and on the court, the WKU Hilltoppers are our biggest rival. However, for one week of the year, we compete to save lives.
Both schools sponsor a blood drive, combining to collect almost 10,000 total pints of blood! And since each pint can help three patients, that’s almost 30,000 people aided from these efforts! The process is quick and saves lives so Bleed Blue and Beat WKU!
Immerse yourself in the community
The opportunities don’t stop when you leave the confines of campus. In fact, with a little bit of research, you can find some volunteer organizations to work for long-term or ones that fit your exact interests.
Countless nonprofit organizations call Middle Tennessee home and they’re always looking for volunteers! If you need service hours or are simply looking to make a difference, I recommend checking out VolunteerRutherford.com, where these organizations advertise their need for additional hands or resources.
Academic departments or student organizations will also occasionally organize service opportunities in the community, so be sure to keep an ear out for announcements and a chance to connect with your classmates, faculty, and community, all at the same time!
Live out the True Blue Pledge
Doing good can be accomplished in more ways than an organized project. Each of us are members of the campus community, one that is tens of thousands of members strong, and it is important for all of us to be good to each other.
The True Blue Pledge is everywhere, from class syllabi to the mass-recitation at University Convocation in the fall. We as students take this pledge to affirm our commitment to nonviolence, learning, diversity, and involvement in the community.
If you live out the pledge, you’re already off to a strong start to doing good in the MTSU community. Get involved however you can, meet new people, and realize that we’re all in this together, so we can all make a difference together!
Author Kobe Hermann is a senior at MTSU, majoring in management in the Jones College of Business and minoring in economics and business administration. The views and opinions expressed above are his own.