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East Carolina University.

A P i rat e ’s Guide to


Tomorrow starts here.

A publication of the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center

What’s New with the VSLC Fairytale Boutique

The VSLC is expanding! We have added two more full time staff members to our home! Alice Tyson, our new administrative assistant, began work on Monday, February 16th. With an extensive background in customer service and experience working closely with ECU students, she has already transitioned comfortably into our office. She helped with registration at the Service-Learning Conference on Thursday, February 19th and contributed to a roundtable discussion focused on project-based service-learning courses at ECU. Although she is only in her second week, the VSLC is already benefitting from her daily support and upbeat personality. Michael Loeffelman, our new volunteer coordinator, will begin work on Monday, March 2nd! Coming all the way from Providence, Rhode Island, he will be bringing expertise and years of experience working with college students at RISD as a residential director and as an AmeriCorps Vista member in South Carolina. He will hit the ground running next week, helping the VSLC with Holocaust Awareness Day and finalizing the details on our three domestic alternative spring break trips that will leave on Sunday, March 8th. Needless to say, the VSLC has been very fortunate to receive these two positions, especially during a time when the job market is decreasing and budget cuts seem to be a regular topic of conversation. With the new staff, we look forward to expanding our influence across campus and the Greenville community.

This past weekend, the Center remained open during selected hours for those young women in Pitt County who had received invitations to Fairytale Boutique. This was a unique opportunity for ECU volunteers to help women attend prom, regardless of financial circumstances. The Center had collected an assortment of new and gently used prom dresses, shoes, purses, jewelry and accessories over the last few months. These items were organized and put on display for those with invitations to come and browse. The women arrived by appointment and were assigned a personal shopper to help them find the perfect prom outfit. Volunteers also helped with make-up and hairstyling tips, as well as set-up and clean-up. Since this event was run solely on local donations, the only thing the young women need to worry about now is finding that perfect date!

Holocaust Awareness Day The VSLC will be sponsoring the annual Unto Every Person is a Name reading on Monday, March 2nd, as part of Holocaust Awareness Day at ECU. Beginning at 6:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m., volunteers will stand in the university mall and read the names of victims of the Holocaust, and excerpts from diaries or memoirs in fifteen minute increments. A luminary will also take place in the university mall later this semester, where 1,000 white paper bags will be filled with sand and a candle to honor those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. ECU volunteers will set up bags, light candles, and help with clean-up.

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Student Group Spotlight Peer Counselors President Obama and Volunteerism

MLK Day Challenge 2009 Spring Semester Service Fair

Calendar of VSLC Upcoming Events Ongoing and Future Events VSLC in the News

Student Group Spotlight

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Peer Counselors

Although the VSLC dedicates a large amount of time recognizing students who volunteer in the community, it is important not to forget those who work alongside us in the office! Currently, there are eight peer counselors who typically spend 10-15 hours per week in the Old Cafeteria Complex helping the VSLC staff with day-to-day upkeep. Most of the students are NC-ACTS! participants, meaning they have agreed to volunteer 300 hours to our office over the course of the academic year in exchange for an educational award at the end of their service. The award, a modest stipend given by AmeriCorps, provides financial relief to tuition costs or federal loans. However, their continued presence and support to the Center is not adequately reflected in a monetary amount. Our office would not be able to function as it does if it were not for these hard-working, dependable students.

East Carolina University

The VSLC peer counselors are multitaskers, to say the least. Some can be found answering the phone, filing registration forms and timesheets, giving class presentations, or advising students on volunteer opportunities. Others are leading student-run programs like FOCUS, or working on special projects such as the Soirée Society. Still, others are handling student feedback on past events (Million Meals Challenge and MLK Day) from surveys, or piecing together a scrapbook that will tell the history of the VSLC. A peer counselor does not come into the office with a concise check-list set before them, where a structured, definite piece of work will define what was finished successfully over the year. Rather, the accomplishments of the peer counselors can be seen daily in the office. From the recruitment of new volunteers, the increase in timesheets turned in, the effectiveness of the staff, or the friendly smile received walking down the hallway. Peer counselors are the backbone holding up the Center. If you would like to receive more information, or would like to apply to be a VSLC peer counselor for the 20092010 academic year, please contact Shawn Moore at

President Obama and Volunteerism

Lately the news has been covering President Obama’s plan for the economy, but what does he have in store for public service? We have seen Obama reading children’s books at grade schools and know of his past commitment to improving the living conditions in poor neighborhoods of South Side Chicago, but what does he want US to do? Listed below are some of plans Obama and Vice President Biden have for America: Expand Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – expand AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 slots and focus this expansion on helping teachers and students in underserved schools, improving public health outreach, weatherizing homes and launching new renewable energy projects, assisting veterans, and helping communities plan, prepare and respond to emergencies. Expand Service-Learning – set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year. Develop national guidelines for service-learning and give schools better tools both to develop programs and to document student experience.

Service in College – establish a new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

College Serve-Study – ensure that at least 25% of College Work-Study funds are used to support public service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls or libraries.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Expand Youth Programs – create an energy-focused youth jobs program to provide disadvantaged youth with service opportunities weatherizing buildings and getting practical experience. Expand the YouthBuild program to give 50,000 disadvantaged young people the chance to complete their high school education, learn valuable skills and build affordable housing in their communities.

Best Face of America – set up an America’s Voice Initiative to deploy Americans who are fluent speakers of local languages for public diplomacy. Expand opportunities for older individuals such as teachers, engineers and doctors to serve overseas. Source:

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National Day of Service

MLK Day Challenge 2009

In 1994, Congress initiated a nationwide effort to transform the MLK federal holiday into a day of service to the community. The MLK Day of Service takes place each year on the third Monday in January. This year, it was celebrated on Monday, January 19, 2009. Beginning at 8 a.m., about 150 students gathered in Mendenhall to dedicate their day to community service.

East Carolina University

VSLC staff and peer counselors were there to direct the students, help with registration, check-in and breakfast. Dr. Lathan Turner, the senior and associate dean to the students, greatly impacted the volunteers with a speech about the importance of volunteering and the long tradition of service that has developed in light of remembering Dr. Martin Luther King. Students were then dismissed to 14 different project sites scattered around Greenville for the rest of the morning. Dr. Lathan Turner, speaking to

students on MLK Day, 2009. Community partners lined up an assortment of projects for ECU students to complete on MLK Day. A group of students could be found at the Food Bank rummaging through canned donations and checking expiration dates. The Little Willie Center sent students to local households to help with minor maintenance and construction issues. Down the street, ECU volunteers were hard at work painting two bathrooms for the Boys and Girls Club, Jarvis unit. Across town, the RHA Howell Center had students sorting donation piles and labeling clothing items in the attic. The Ronald McDonald House and ECU students paint the the Hope Lodge had their kitchens cleaned top to bottom, while Give2theTroops expanded bathrooms at the their care package and holiday card piles for those soldiers overseas. Boys and Girls Club.

Every dog at the Humane Society got to stretch their legs on a nice walk outside, while the new kittens received attention and some extra play time with the students. Tar River Manor even had some laboring landscaping projects set aside for the boys in Alpha Phi Alpha. They spent the majority of the day digging up overgrown roots, trimming hedges, removing dead branches and raking up leaves and sticks in the backyard. Overall, the MLK Day projects were very successful and the students enjoyed helping the local community. The agencies, of course, are always happy to host ECU students for the day and are anxiously awaiting the next National Day of Service.

ECU site leaders, left to right: Scott Councilman, Melanie Ross, Elizabeth Gamiel and Allison Stephens.

Spring Semester Service Fair In an effort to bring together ECU students and local non-profit organizations, the VSLC held their spring semester Service Fair on Wednesday, January 28, 2009. About 25 agencies were represented in the main lobby of the Bate Building for the majority of the afternoon, grabbing hundreds of student’s attention as they walked in route to class. Each organization had their own display table to illustrate their mission and goals, as well as handouts for those students interested in volunteering. Popular agencies, such as the Little Willie Center, the Carolina House, and the Food Bank were present, in addition to some lesser-known agencies that extend further into eastern North Carolina. For example, Brent Lubbock, of Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco-Center, attended the fair and brought along some baby ducklings that had hatched that morning! Katie Benson, of the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, also brought along her furry canine friend Bear! Even one of the VSLC’s own NC-ACTS! participants, Elizabeth Gamiel, attended the fair to represent her internship program, ECU READS. Students were able to interact directly with agency volunteer coordinators, getting to know them on a first-name basis, making the Fair a very personable, yet still informal, introduction to volunteering. Typically, students find volunteer opportunities online or through the VSLC Service Opportunities Guide, which recommends volunteers to communicate with agencies via phone or e-mail. Although this is usually more effective and less time-consuming, students lose that initial face-to-face interaction with the community partner. The fair, however, gave students the occasion to converse with organizations in a comfortable setting. They gained more insight into the options available in the Greenville area and the differing experiences volunteering can offer, all while on the way to class!

Calendar of VSLC Upcoming Events

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Holocaust Awareness Day: Monday, March 2. For more information, Extreme Makeover Home Edition: Friday, March 6 - Saturday, March 14. Edenton, NC. For more information, TRIPS Departure: Sunday, March 8 - Saturday, March 14. Sky Meadows State Park, Northern VA; Habitat for Humanity, Americus, GA; Anthony House, Zellwood, FL. Blood Drive: Tuesday, March 17 from 11:00-5:00 p.m. Student Health Center. Down East Heart and Stroke Ball: Friday, March 20 - Saturday, March 21. Greenville Hilton. For more information, Blood Drive: Wednesday, March 25 from 11:00-5:00 p.m. Student Health Center. Blood Drive: Thursday, March 26 from 11:00-5:00 p.m. Student Health Center. Pirate Playtime: Friday, March 27 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. For more information, please e-mail Blood Drive: Tuesday, March 31 from 11:00-5:00 p.m. Student Health Center. Pirate Playtime: Friday, April 3 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. For more information, please e-mail

Ongoing and Future Events 100,000 Pound Food Drive An ongoing program created to help fight against hunger in eastern North Carolina and across the country. Donate to your local food bank or pantry or incorporate food donation into current or future programming. For more information: PirateFest An annual weekend festival in mid-April that takes place in downtown Greenville. This event will celebrate eastern North Carolina’s deep history with famous pirates, including Greenville’s own Pirates of East Carolina University. Volunteers will be needed to assist in set-up and clean-up, along with running various booths during the festival. More information TBA: Give-N-Go End of April into early May. Boxes will be placed in campus residence halls where students can donate any unused canned food items, clothing items, or household appliances/accessories that they do not want to take home. The VSLC will maintain regular pick-up shifts during the two weeks to collect the donated items.

VSLC in the News Tired of reading our newsletter and want some outside perspectives? Then check out these news stories! “Students volunteer as part of MLK Challenge.” The Daily Reflector. Written by Josh Humphries. Monday, January 19, 2009. “Organizations use ECU event to find volunteers.” The Daily Reflector. Written by Josh Humphries. Wednesday, January 28, 2009.

A group of ECU students at the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina on MLK Day, 2009.

Volunteer and Service-Learning Center Old Cafeteria Complex 252-328-2735 (phone) 252-328-0139 (fax) Shawn Moore, Community Partner Coordinator Jessica Gagne Cloutier, Service-Learning Coordinator Judy Baker, Institutional and Community Development Consultant Jennifer Bergman, AmeriCorps*Vista Allison Stephens, ECU READS Coordinator

February Edition 2009

A Pirate's Guide To Service February 2009