Fresno State students have fun working together to raise money for Children’s Hospital Central California at a previous Kid’s Day.
It’s that time of year again; the flowers are in bloom, the birds are chirping, and the sun is driving away the chill of winter. The signs of the changing season are everywhere, including on the streets of Fresno where volunteers will be gathered in mass on Tuesday, March 5th armed with newspapers and friendly smiles in hopes of raising money for Children’s Hospital Central California.
It’s quite an inspiring sight to drive through Fresno on a Tuesday morning and see volunteers gladly giving their time and having a lot of fun in the process! I highly encourage you to join your peers next Tuesday as they sell special editions of The Fresno Bee. Join the volunteers throughout the valley who will be braving the brisk morning air to stand on street corners and sell copies of the Kid’s Day newspaper.
At Fresno State, Kid’s Day is big deal. Last year, the students, staff, and faculty of the University collectively raised over $36,000 for Children’s Hospital Central California. It is absolutely extraordinary that the Fresno State community is so willing to give of their time for this worthy cause!
Richter Center Ambassadors arrive to campus at dawn to help distribute papers to student clubs and organizations . We love seeing how excited our peers are to get started selling papers in order to raise money and awareness for Children’s Hospital Central California!
As a Richter Center Ambassador, it is my duty to convince my peers to get involved with service and I cannot think of a more fun project than Kid’s Day; trust me, if you are looking to have a lot of fun and want to have the contentment that comes with the knowledge that you are helping kids right here in the Central Valley, this is the event for you. You don’t want to miss out!
If you are interested in volunteering, please follow this link: www.fresnostate.edu/academics/cesl/about/events.html
Sign up today!
The Community Service Opportunities Fair, held January 23rd, was a great event! Fifty-six community benefit agencies were in attendance and students took time out of their day to walk around the different booths and learn about current community service opportunities available to them. The Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement had a booth along with the Picture the Change Campaign put on by your Richter ambassadors. The Richter Center team leads the campus in finding ways to serve and Picture the Change is a student run campaign to promote community service awareness on campus and throughout our community. Richter Center Ambassadors encourage and challenge you as Fresno State students to create meaningful goals to serve in your community. Most importantly, the Ambassadors and the Richter Center are here to help you find ways to engage in the community. If you couldn’t make it to the fair, come by The Richter Center on campus in the Thomas Building, Room 107 or check out our website at http://www.fresnostate.edu/cesl to find out how you can start serving today!
“To empower children and families to achieve productive, self-reliant lives” is the mission of Reading and Beyond. This organization is focused on helping children gain skills and abilities that are necessary for a successful life. Research has found that helping families as a whole is just as important. Reading and Beyond is dedicated to building long-term relationships with families in order to keep children as distant as possible from any unhealthy behaviors.
Reading and Beyond’s target population is low-income families, children ages 0-18, and parents. The organization is able to serve them through a number of different programs:
- Literacy intervention for children
- Early childhood education
- Health education
- College preparation for children and parents
- Parent involvement
- Workforce development
Reading and Beyond does not only focus on schools to reach their desired population, but they also work within apartment complexes, shopping centers, and community organizations. They also conduct educational home visits.
If you are interested in working with children, then Reading and Beyond is a great place to start gaining experience. There are many sites around the Fresno area, and they offer flexible volunteering hours. For more information, visit readingandbeyond.org.
- Ambassador Val
For the last 39 years, Poverello House, a nonprofit organization in the San Joaquin Valley, has been helping those in need. When people don’t have a place to sleep, Poverello House is there for them with shelter. When people do not have a bite to eat, Poverello House is there for them with a warm meal. The services offered there are for all people from different walks in life. On a daily basis, the organization touches the lives of the homeless in the Valley, women and children in need, the elderly, and also migrant farmworkers. Before I spoke to them at last semester’s volunteer fair, I didn’t know that this organization, located at 412 F Street, is more than just a soup home.
Other than providing warm meals, they provide people with shelter at all of their three facilities: Naomi’s House, a facility proving overnight shelter for single childless women, and the Michael McGarvin Jr. Village of Hope and Community of Hope, which provide people with an opportunity to better themselves by allowing them longer stays, not just overnight shelter. Other services they provide to people are substance abuse rehabilitation programs, as well as both individual and group counseling. They also have a clinic on site that provides free medical and dental services. As I was looking at their website I thought it was really cool how they even have a Homeless Court. This Homeless Court is for those individuals who are in a rehabilitation programs and want to fix any problems they may have had with the authorities.
As is with all nonprofit organizations, most of the work done at the Poverello House is by volunteers. So if you are ever looking for a place to volunteer or make a change in someone’s life, Poverello House welcomes anyone with a giving heart.
- Ambassador Paulina
My personal form of advocacy is supporting people with intellectual disabilities by taking part in national events, like Spread the Word to End the Word, which was on March 7, 2012.
When most people think of service, they think of going out and doing things for organizations. They think of serving food to the homeless, or handing out newspapers for Kids Day, or helping revitalize a park, or doing something that benefits people directly. Doing all these things is great, and provides wonderful benefits to the community, but there is another very important form of service out there that many don’t think of: advocacy.
Being an advocate means supporting a cause. Support can mean doing big things, like handing out flyers, putting up posters, and giving speeches. But supporting a cause doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to do big things to make a difference. Doing small things can make you an advocate as well.
For example, I am an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. I know I can’t do anything huge like petition the government for more rights for intellectually disabled people, and I don’t have time to hand out flyers on campus or organize awareness events. But I can talk about the disabled population with people who have questions, helping to break down the stereotypes and misinformation that many have about what intellectual disability is and how it affects people. And I can help by participating in national awareness days, like Spread the Word to End the Word, an event aimed at stopping the use of the word “retarded” in slang vocabulary. Every little thing I do to help support people with intellectual disabilities is considered advocacy because I am helping raise awareness about the issue.
A lot of you might already be advocates without realizing it. If you support a cause, or feel strongly about an issue, you are being an advocate. It is a form of service because you’re donating your time to support a cause, no matter how big or small.
What issues do you advocate for? In what ways are you an advocate?
- Ambassador Becky
Welcome back for another great semester at Fresno State! While you’re all getting back into the rhythm of college life, why not choose to help make a difference in your community as well? Join us this upcoming Wednesday, January 25 from 10 am-1 pm at the Satellite Student Union for the Community Service Opportunities Fair. We will be hosting over 50 agencies that you can get involved with, including American Red Cross Central Valley, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and Yosemite National Park, just to name a few. If you want to find exciting ways to help the people, animals, or community around you, this event is exactly what you’re looking for. The opportunities are endless!
Also, be sure to check out the Richter Center Ambassadors booth! We will be continuing our “Picture the Change” campaign at this event, and we want you to help us by pledging. This campaign began in 2009, inspiring Fresno State students to develop a vision of continued community service in their future through personal pledges. Learn more about “Picture the Change” here. The ambassadors will be present to answer any questions about the campaign and about their personal service experiences. Make sure you pledge to learn more about how you can win a lunch for two with the Richter Center Ambassadors! Hope to see you all there!
Check out this video from last year’s spring volunteer fair for an example of what you can expect!