Seven Days of Service provides volunteer opportunities

Photo courtesy UNO Communications
Seven Days of Service will take place over spring break. Nonprofit organizations involved in the event include Habitat for Humanity, Hope Center for Kids and inCommon Community Development, to name a few.
Cassie Wade

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Office of Civic and Social Responsibility is gearing up for its Seven Days of Service event over spring break.

Seven Days of Service will provide members of the UNO and Omaha communities with the opportunity to complete volunteer projects, according to Skyler May, a graduate student in the Office of Civic and Social Responsibility.

May said volunteers will be able to pick from a variety of projects each day.

“They’re not going to show up and have us say they’re going to do a specific project,” May said. “They have the choice to pick whichever one they want to work on for the day.”

May said that every day except for Saturday, the projects will revolve around a specific theme. Monday’s theme is social justice, Tuesday is educational support and Wednesday is international service, to name a few.

The projects for each day will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. May said if volunteers need to leave early or come late, they can work on one of the projects hosted on campus.

May said transportation for off-campus projects, breakfast and lunch will be provided for volunteers.

Approximately 40 nonprofits are involved in Seven Days of Service, including Habitat for Humanity, inCommon Community Development and Hope Center for Kids, May said.

Turner Morgan, the volunteer manager at Habitat for Humanity, said the nonprofit will be working with volunteers on March 17. Morgan said volunteers working on Habitat for Humanity’s project will be completing the organization’s “bread and butter work: construction.”

“Right now, we have about 18 active properties, so students will be coming to our build sites and helping with anything from deconstruction to framing to siding to hanging drywall, whatever it takes,” Turner said.

Turner said he encourages students to volunteer with Seven Days of Service because “it’s a great way to explore not only the needs of your community, but also explore your passions and potential career opportunities.”

“It wasn’t until I started volunteering that I understood that I really connect with this type of work, that I really enjoy it,” Turner said. “It’s [Seven Days of Service] a great, sort of noncommittal way to volunteer, whether it’s with us or any sort of nonprofit or organization in the community.”

May also said volunteering provides students with the opportunity to learn more about their interests.

“I think, as a student, you can get trapped in the bubble of campus,” May said. “It’s a great opportunity to not only learn about nonprofits, neighborhoods and communities off campus, but also just a time to learn about yourself and what you’re interested in.”

A total of 705 volunteers participated in last year’s Seven Days of Service. This number includes volunteers who participated in more than one day of service.

Sandy Griffin, a UNO junior political science major, participated in Seven Days of Service last year. She will be one of the volunteer leads throughout the week this year.

“It was a really nice experience,” Griffin said. “I got to work with so many different nonprofits and the breadth of seeing other resources and other people trying to help in the community was a really positive experience.”

Griffin said she thinks Seven Days of Service “will be a really positive experience again this year.”