Vol. 12 No. 2 - February, 2010

UMass Medicine Cares Volunteer Fair

gsbs cares
The UMMS volunteer group GSBS Cares helps build homes with Habitat for Humanity.

“Everyone can be great because everybody can serve,” are words that resonate as much today as they did 42 years ago when they were first spoken by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On Wednesday, Feb. 24, members of the UMass Medical School community will have an opportunity to get a little closer to personal greatness through the first-ever UMass Medicine Cares Volunteer Fair, sponsored by the Office of Community Affairs, in partnership with the United Way of Central Massachusetts. “What we do in our towns and neighborhoods, our schools and our communities, is as important as what we do in the classroom, the clinic and the laboratory,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins.

 

The Volunteer Fair will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the old Medical School lobby. Below is a partial list of the agencies participating.

AIDS Project Worcester, Inc.
American Cancer Society
American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Worcester County, Inc.
Community Harvest Project
Elder Services of Worcester Area, Inc.
Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts
Girls Incorporated of Worcester
Habitat for Humanity
Harrington Memorial Hospital
Horizons for Homeless Children
Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester
Mass Audubon's Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center
UMass Memorial Medical Center
United Way of Central MA Volunteer Center
Wachusett Recycled Resource Center
Worcester Community Housing Resources
Since last year’s introduction of an interactive, online database enabling students, faculty and staff to document the volunteer activities they participate in outside of the workplace, UMass Medicine Cares has evolved into a multi-faceted initiative that not only catalogs activities but encourages and supports individuals’ volunteer efforts. “If you don’t volunteer but have always wanted to, now is the time,” said James Leary, associate vice chancellor for community affairs, who encourages volunteers to record their efforts at http://inside.umassmed.edu/umassmedicinecares. “Whether you’re new to volunteering or have been doing it for a long time, we want your efforts to be recognized and counted.”

In addition to Medical School initiatives, such as the Walk to Cure Cancer, GSBS Cares and UMW Learn and Serve, dozens of area human services organizations will be at the volunteer fair to help members of the UMMS community match their personal interests, availability and skills with community needs. “The most pressing areas to be addressed are hunger, homelessness, financial stability and education,” noted Tim Garvin, president and CEO of the United Way of Central Massachusetts. Participating agencies (see sidebar) serve everyone from children to elders of all socioeconomic conditions. Representatives will be on site to discuss volunteer options to fit any schedule and any time commitment.

“While every institution has an incidental impact on its community, we have a history of purposeful involvement, and a continuing commitment to strengthen that,” said Leary. “With us having so much to offer in a time of such great community need, it’s fitting that we bring everyone together at this fair to maximize our presence and serve the most efficiently.”