The Shenandoah University Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) believes that becoming engaged in the community not only provides an opportunity to make a difference, but also is a gateway to transformative learning and educational experiences. Therefore, we are determined to continue to give our university students the opportunity to serve their community while staying safe during this pandemic.
When engaging in activity outside of campus grounds, maintaining Shenandoah’s Meeting and Events Policy becomes all the more important. We need to ensure that when volunteering in our community we are not spreading the virus to vulnerable communities or bringing the virus back on campus. In order to do so, the CCE has created an Off-Campus Volunteering Health & Safety Policy for campus clubs, organizations, and athletic teams as a way to minimize risks while still practicing compassion, advocacy, justice and social responsibility. Through the policy, we can ensure that our students, the organization and the communities involved stay safe.
Just last weekend, some of our students showcased just how successful this can be. The Shenandoah University baseball team worked the Concern Hotline Fish Fry on Friday, Sept. 4, at Grove’s Winchester Harley-Davidson. Concern Hotline is a free 24/7 anonymous information and referral, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention hotline, which serves the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The baseball team has worked in collaboration with this amazing organization for over 10 years.
During the event, 18 team members worked in ticket collection, traffic direction, food preparation, and drink distribution, all while representing the university in first-class fashion. All of the individuals involved utilized masks, maintained social distancing as much as possible, and prepared and served food or drinks with gloves. To add, all of the customers of the event were restricted to drive-thru only, ensuring that they did not have to take a step out of their car for any reason.
While it may have looked a little different this year, the fundraising event was a huge success. The Fish Fry fed over 1,500 people from across the Northern Shenandoah Valley and raised over $20,000, which all goes straight to the efforts of the Concern Hotline. None of this would have been possible without the help of Shenandoah’s student-athletes.
COVID-19 has made it more difficult than ever to help serve the community we live in. That being said, there are still ways for Shenandoah to give back while continuing to stay safe. The example highlighted above is just one of the many ways that Shenandoah’s clubs, teams and organizations can continue to blend into the fabric of the university’s surrounding neighborhoods during this pandemic.
For additional information about volunteering during COVID-19, contact the Center for Civic Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit their office at BSC 119, or follow the Center for Civic Engagement on social media:
- Twitter: civicengage_su
- Instagram: civicengage_su
- Facebook: Shenandoah Center for Civic Engagement
Written by Grant Thompson