Gateway Community College’s students, faculty and staff are committed to caring for others, said Jamicia Lackey, activities assistant for Student Community Outreach Programs in the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Programs. She says this was abundantly evident during “Pounce into Action Week,” an initiative to encourage student volunteerism and part of National Volunteer Week at college campuses across the country in late April.
“The students, faculty and staff at Gateway care very much about giving back to the community and without their support this week of events and the other volunteer opportunities Student Community Outreach Programs coordinates would not be possible,” Lackey said.
The week was brimming with volunteer opportunities. GCC hosted a Service Fair with dozens of community organizations involved. Close to 200 students took part, stopping at tables to learn more about volunteer opportunities in the region. GCC also hosted a Red Cross Blood Drive. Sixty-one students and staff members donated blood.
A team of 15 GCC students, one alumnus and three staff members also participated in Relay for Life. Relay for Life is an overnight event that unites communities in the fight against cancer. Teams of classmates, friends, families and businesses raise money for the American Cancer Society and then walk overnight at local tracks. Together the Gateway team raised $740, Lackey said, adding that Brittany Perry was the top fundraiser for that event, raising $260.
“I am proud of our Relay team, as we more than tripled the team size and the amount of money we fundraised since we participated last year,” Lackey said. “Although the team came together in the last couple of weeks before the event, the students were excited about the opportunity and took on a lot of responsibility to recruit new members, raise funds and make the event exciting.”
Lackey is already looking forward to build upon the momentum of “Pounce into Action” week, encouraging even more students, faculty and staff to get involved in community outreach events and programs throughout the 2012-2013 academic year. “The challenge, of course, is finding the right opportunities for people to show how much they care! Student engagement in crafting these opportunities and recruiting other students is also vital,” she said. “Our relay team was successful largely because of students leading the charge.”