Opportunities to Give Back | Bowdoin College

Some 27 groups were represented, and four other groups were unable to attend, said Sarah Seames, director of the McKeen Center for the Common Good, which sponsored the event. “We love having this the first week of the semester because there’s a lot of energy and excitement to get involved, especially among the first years. It’s a great place for them to learn about the McKeen Center and the common good. It’s also a great opportunity for these committed student leaders to talk to people about what they do,” she added.

Among the “committed student leaders” is Diego DeSousa, 25, who recruits volunteers for the Rotaract Club, the youth arm of the Rotary International humanitarian service organization. “Our club,” he said, “meets a number of community needs.” Right now, he explained, they are focused on offering a community art program to local neighborhoods as well as delivering food parcels to low-income families.

Hannah Cha ’25 runs an office for volunteers in the village of Sunnybrook, who help out at a nearby retirement home and assisted living facility. “We go there once a week for an hour or two and hang out with the residents. We play games, we talk, we play music. The program sounded appealing to fellow sophomore Meg Zitzmann, who signed up as a potential volunteer. “I have experience delivering food to seniors during the pandemic and have really enjoyed it!”

Bear Buddies is a group that offers friendship and support to elementary school children with mental, physical and social disabilities through mentorship. The goal is to create a comfortable space for social interaction, said student leader Madeline Lincoln ’25, who along with Emma Bomfim ’22 was looking for volunteers. Both students said they were drawn to Bear Buddies after participating in high school sports programs that included people with special needs on softball and football teams.

Among the freshmen leading the volunteer booth gauntlet was Annabella Williams, who plans to work with two groups. “I visited a group [Bowdoin Music Mentors] who teaches musical instruments to young locals,” said Williams, who plays double bass and electric bass. She also enrolled in Bowdoin Women in Science, which encourages women to enter STEM fields.

Hamda Hussein ’25, meanwhile, returns to the fair for a second year. Last year, she worked with the Bowdoin Public Health Club and a group that provides educational support to new Mainers. “I would love to volunteer with these groups again this year,” she said.

Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Bowdoin College.

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