Since the early nineteenth century observers have commented on the important role volunteering plays in U.S. culture. Many North Americans feel a strong commitment to give to their communities. It is within this tradition that every year thousands of University of Minnesota students volunteer with community organizations working on such issues as hunger, homelessness, environmental protection, tutoring/mentoring, human rights, or advocacy for social justice.
It is not hard to find volunteer opportunities. Volunteering not only is personally satisfying, but it can provide insights into U.S. culture. Try it!
There are hundreds of opportunities to volunteer in the Twin Cities, ranging from one-time experiences to sustained weekly involvement of two to ten hours over a semester or a year. The on-campus office to learn about these, and to receive advising assistance in locating the right volunteer option for you, is the Center for Community-Engaged Learning in 240 Appleby Hall.
Several programs of the University YMCA involve volunteering over a semester or an academic year. Weekly group reflection sessions permit you to interact with other students volunteering in the same programs. The YMCA’s core emphasis is on leadership development.