Volunteer Ambassadors Wrap Up “Spread the Warmth” Donations and Prepare for Canned Food Drive in February Among other Events

            As a cold winter and heavy rain storms set in, proper clothing becomes vital for the health and safety of those in need. UWG’s Volunteer Ambassadors created the “Spread the Warmth,” event, a clothing drive to benefit the Emergency Shelter in Carrollton.

The Emergency Shelter is a nonprofit organization that serves the Carrollton community by providing temporary shelter, showers, minimal food and clothing. Like any nonprofit, donations become integral for not only supporting the community but also involving the community.

UWG’s Volunteer Ambassadors hosted a coats and blankets donation drive for the Emergency Shelter between Jan. 10- 20. Starting Jan. 21, the ambassadors and other volunteers sorted the donations before giving them to the shelter the following day.

Volunteer Ambassadors and UWG Volunteer Programs strive to give back to the community even more in the coming year.

“When I first came, I first asked the students: What would you all like to do with the community?” says Khalis Thomas, Coordinator of Student Leadership and Volunteer Programs in the Center for Student Involvement and Inclusion (CSII).

The Volunteer Ambassador opportunities seek to give UWG students leadership skills and autonomy in their efforts engaging and connecting with the Carrollton community.

While Thomas suggested gathering coats and blanket donations, the Volunteer Ambassadors elected to donate to the Emergency Shelter specifically.

“Volunteer Ambassadors are the organization that plans and executes [every volunteer project] that’s going on,” says Thomas. “But we have volunteer UWG students come to actually volunteer with us whenever we do something.”

While the role of Volunteer Ambassadors serves as a leadership role, all students are provided opportunities to volunteer through CSII programs.

The ambassadors hosted “A Dream Come True: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Learning Day” on Jan. 18, where volunteers put together 100 hygiene kits including soaps, toothpastes, toothbrushes and shampoos among other hygiene products for the homeless.

In February, the Volunteer Ambassadors will host a canned food drive beginning Feb. 14-23. But volunteer events are not always focused on helping the Carrollton community, but also enriching the lives of UWG students through other events encouraging connection and involvement.

“We also have an event coinciding [the drive] on Feb. 11 called ‘Heart 2 Heart,’” says Thomas. “Volunteer Ambassadors will be hosting a speed-friending event. So that students get to know more people, especially after Covid, it’s kind of hard.”

“Heart 2 Heart” will be hosted in the campus center ballroom on Friday at 6:00 p.m. to 7:20 p.m.

Thomas hopes the students will step up and establish a strong volunteer outreach in the wake of social distancing and lock downs. Volunteering provides an opportunity to give back to the community in impactful ways. Whether a student wants to get connected with others, fulfill volunteer hours, wants to pay it forward or all of the above, UWG offers a platform for any outreach.

For more information or questions regarding how to become Volunteer Ambassador or become more involved in volunteer opportunities, students can email Thomas at kthomas@westga.edu.



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