Brock students will fan out across Niagara Saturday to give back to the community they now call home.
Along with University staff and faculty members, nearly 200 students will spend Saturday, Sept. 7 volunteering at local organizations in need of a helping hand.
The 11th annual Brock Cares Day of Service will help students kick off the semester by having a positive impact and allowing them to meet others who share a similar passion for volunteering.
“Participating in Brock Cares is a great way for students to start the year by giving back and making connections with their peers, while also learning about and becoming a part of the Niagara community,” said Megan Brown, Brock’s Community Engagement Co-ordinator.
With volunteers heading to Project Share, Niagara Children’s Centre, Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, the YWCA, Clean City Committee, Community Care, Celebration of Nations, the Rankin Cancer Run Bottle Drive, the Niagara Catholic District School Board Outdoor Education Program, Small Scale Farms and the Days for Girls initiative, Brown said the day reflects the University’s ongoing commitment to the region.
“It’s important because Brock is part of the community and this is one of the many ways we can show that we care,” she said. “We are doing our part to be fully involved in Niagara while helping to grow the next generation of passionate and engaged citizens.”
This year’s team of volunteers will also participate in the University’s annual Welcome Wagon visits, which aim to help student tenants be good neighbours and have a positive experience in the community. The initiative will see student volunteers joined by University staff and community partners, including elected officials, bylaw officers and firefighters, going door-to-door in near-campus neighbourhoods to deliver welcome kits and information on topics and services related to living off-campus.
When Brock Cares has wrapped up for the day, volunteers will be taken to the Pen Centre where they will join residents and other students at a complimentary barbecue from noon to 3 p.m. Held in partnership with the City of St Catharines Town and Gown Committee, the Pen Centre, Zehrs and the University, the Community BBQ aims to further efforts to build relationships between the student population and local citizens in hopes of creating a vibrant, safe and respectful community.
Following Brock Cares, students will have a chance to learn about additional volunteer activities in the region at VolunteerFest on Thursday, Sept. 12. The on-campus, vendor-style event will run in Brock’s Market Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature nearly 50 local organizations looking for volunteers.
Spaces for Brock Cares are filling quickly, but Brown hopes more students will embrace the chance to lend a helping hand through various volunteer opportunities.
“Brock Cares is often the first chance our students have to see other parts of Niagara, but we know that after working with such great organizations and seeing the difference that their contributions make, it won’t be the last,” she said.
Volunteers will meet in South Block 204 at 8 a.m. Registration can be completed on the ExperienceBU website. Walk-in participants are also welcome.