A new program offered by the Cass County Community Foundation is offering an incentive for local college students to give local non-profit organizations the help they need.
The program — called Growing Local Opportunities for Volunteer Experience, or G.L.O.V.E. — has seen college students literally putting on work gloves to make a difference in the community.
The program was designed to encourage returning area college students to volunteer at local non-profits throughout the summer.
GLOVE volunteers are working at the Salvation Army, on area baseball fields, at Memorial Hospital, at Fairview Park, at the YMCA and at various other places in the community.
Chris Jacobs volunteers at the Salvation Army in downtown Logansport for about three and a half hours a day, two days a week.
Chris puts on gloves to clean tables and chairs in preparation for a lunch time meal that draws about 50 people daily. He also helps other seasoned volunteers in preparing a lunch that he later helps to serve.
Other volunteers say they enjoy having Chris around because he is “always helpful and never complains.” He also washes dishes by hand and cleans the kitchen after lunch is served.
“I like helping people in need and seeing that they are thankful,”
Although Chris is serving lunch now, his supervisor, Toni Farris might put him to work on building a computer database for the Salvation Army later this summer.
After Chris completes at least 100 hours of volunteer service he will be eligible to apply for a GLOVE scholarship. He will turn in a completed application with a transcript and a brief written essay about his volunteer experiences.
Although he is not guaranteed a scholarship, Chris predicts he will use the experience on his resume.
“I’ve met a lot of nice people while I’ve been here,” he said. “I would recommend it to other students.”
Chris received the Morris Family Traditional Scholarship from the community foundation in 2007. He will be a senior this fall at Taylor University, where he majors in finance. He hopes to pursue a career in the banking industry. His sister, Brittany Jacobs, can be found completing her volunteer service at the Salvation Army, AIM Park, Cross-Wind United Methodist Church, Upward soccer and Franklin Elementary School.
She is taking full advantage of every opportunity she has to volunteer in order to reach the 100-hour goal.
Although she performs many different tasks at each place, she is learning one important idea from the experience.
“I’m learning how to get along with others by working with different types of people,” she said.
This is a skill she will use throughout the rest of her college and career life. Brittany attends Purdue University where she is a sophomore and studies medical technology.
Caroline Sholty, a past Lilly Community Endowment finalist, will be a junior at DePauw University where she majors in psychology.
Caroline returned to Logansport this summer to pursue an internship with Reading Railroad. She is also using this opportunity to apply for the GLOVE award.
She volunteers about 24 hours a week for Reading Railroad, where her duties include planning and implementing activities for the literacy center program that helps promote literacy in young children.
However, she likes the hands-on work with the children the best.
“I like to see how this affects others, especially the children,” she said.
After college she plans on working with families as a therapist and this experience is giving her an opportunity to sharpen those people skills she will need.
An experienced volunteer, Jessika Balasa decided to make the most of the GLOVE scholarship opportunity. She could have chosen any number of the familiar local non-profits in the community where she has worked before. But when she heard about the program, she immediately thought about her career goal to become a nurse. She went Logansport Memorial Hospital to see what volunteer opportunities were offered.
The hospital placed her in the medical records department, where each day she files stacks of individual medical records.
“It feels good to see what I accomplish each day I am here,” she said.
She also has enjoyed observing a glimpse of behind the scenes work that is necessary for doctors and nurses especially since nursing is her chosen field of study.
When she is not surrounded by thousands of files she is also making connections to other employees and volunteers at the hospital.
“I’ve met a lot of people, especially at lunch, that I've made connections with,” she said. “I always tell my friends it’s not what you know, but who you know.”
Jessika is certain she will be able to use this experience and these connections in her future career pursuits. She recently transferred to Purdue where she hopes to be accepted into their nursing program.
In the heat of the midmorning sun, you can find volunteer Jacob Peattie at the baseball fields at Fairview Park. Jacob helps with the YMCA’s youth baseball program. Each day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jacob is there to coach, umpire and give guidance to children ages 4-12.
When he first heard about the GLOVE award, he decided to call the Y and see if they had openings. Although he is not a big baseball fan, there is one reason he volunteers.
“I love the kids,” he said.
Jacob will be a senior this year at Grace College this year, and he wants to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher. His volunteer service is also providing him extra training for his future career.
Audrey Deitrich has volunteered her time this summer at AIM Park, logging 93 hours of service for the organization. She spent about 20 hours each weekend serving up snacks, drinks and other concessions to the many softball visitors and players at the facility.
She really enjoyed this opportunity to work around and with so many people.
“I’ve learned how to work with all types of people,” she said.
Audrey has also volunteered at the Cass County 4-H Fair livestock auction. A 10-year 4-H participant she knew exactly what she was doing when offering to volunteer. As a runner, she ran tickets to the successful bidders for a signature.
“I've done this before, so I know what I’m doing,” she said. “I love 4-H and all the people involved. I'll always be here ... every summer.”
Audrey is a sophomore at Manchester College, where she studies biology and history. One day she hopes to have a career related to the medical field.
The foundation has made $25,000 available for scholarships to be awarded in August. To be eligible, the applicant must be a current college student who won a previous scholarship from the community foundation.
Applicants must have a 2.0 collegiate GPA, complete at least 100 hours of volunteer work, write a one-page essay and turn in a completed application. Winners will receive scholarships of anywhere from $500 to $1,000 each.
“This opportunity to promote volunteerism is win-win-win,” Deanna Crispen, the foundation’s executive director, said in a news release.
“Local organizations get the advantage of some very bright college student volunteers for the summer. Our students get the opportunity to know the joy of giving back as well as gaining practical experience and contacts for their future careers and they have the opportunity to apply and receive a nice scholarship. And the community foundation is once more helping to create the community we all want.”