Similar to Up All Night, CMU also has a tradition called Siblings Weekend where students are encouraged to bring their siblings for a weekend in the spring and enjoy all kinds of entertainment and fun spread all throughout campus. This event is so unique because it brings a younger population to the college environment while also providing students with an opportunity to connect with their family at college. While I have never served on the planning committee for this program, each year I look forward to volunteering.

This year I encouraged some friends to come along with me and volunteer for the weekend. We both had so much fun connecting with siblings and fellow students. We even were able to participate in some activities as well. As someone who often plans these kind of campus events and works with many non-profits, I understand the importance and need for volunteers. Many committees have a designated volunteer coordinator whose responsibility is to recruit volunteers and direct them the day of the event. Without volunteers, none of these events would happen.

Volunteering also has so many benefits for the volunteer. It connects you with others, it serves as a professional development opportunity, and it’s fun! I know many students who simply volunteer because their professor required it or they need to fulfill a scholarship requirement. This is all good and well, however it’s best when volunteering and community service stems from individual interest. It’s a win-win situation when both the organization and the volunteer is benefiting. Community service is so important for college students because it establishes a sense of community and shared support. Students are able to explore career options and different hobbies, network with peers and professionals, develop a skill, and spend time with friends. Volunteering can also be a great way to bond as a team.

Because I’ve participated in so many community service projects at college, I now look for companies who engage in volunteering initiates. It’s important to me that companies use their resources to benefit the local community and/or a cause. This shows that companies are not only focused on their own success, but they make corporate social responsibility part of their business platform.

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