`Volunteer Week’ highlights service

As part of GW’s ongoing effort to serve the greater Washington community, the Neighbors Project will sponsor its first “Volunteer Week” Oct. 18-23.

The events during the week will celebrate the work that GW student volunteers and work-study students do in the Shaw community through the Neighbors Project: community cleanups, delivery of groceries to seniors, tutoring children after school, assisting in community health clinics, and teaching children about preventing violence. “Volunteer Week” will provide an easy way for students thinking about becoming involved in volunteering to put their thoughts into action.

Volunteerism is a way of life for many at GW. Last year alone, 500 volunteers were responsible for numerous improvements throughout the Shaw community, including working to increase grade-level performance for children enrolled in the For Love of Children’s after-school tutoring programs; providing individual attention for children in local preschools; cleaning up playgrounds and maintaining and repairing several elementary and middle schools; organizing community celebrations; distributing medication efficiently at local medical clinics; and creating an intergenerational program for children and senior citizens living in the Shaw neighborhood.

Highlights of “Volunteer Week” include a free barbecue in Kogan Plaza Monday, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich-making drive at the Mount Vernon College campus, and a Make A Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 23, during which 50 children from our community partner organizations will come to campus to participate in arts and crafts activities planned by the Neighbors Project AmeriCorps members. Currently 14 GW students serve as Neighbors Project AmeriCorps members, working many hours each week to coordinate the service of the GW student volunteers through training and ongoing support.

I am very proud of this commitment to our community. We are indeed fortunate to have these students as ambassadors for GW. Please join me in thanking our volunteers, both past and present, for the fine work they are doing in the community and show your support by joining their efforts.

We salute their commitment.

-The writer is president and professor of public administration of The George Washington University.

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