Volunteer Opportunities at UM-Flint

Kaitlyn Bergman, Writer

Through volunteering, the University of Michigan-Flint was able to better not only our own campus but the greater community as well.

In November, Logan LaPeen, our Student Government’s Director of Foreign Outreach organized two volunteer opportunities for members of the UM-Flint community to help with food banks. These opportunities benefited not only the community of Flint but our University as well by raising money for Wolverine Essentials while helping the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. 

The Food Bank has already been aiding Flint by assisting with Wolverine Essentials, and the volunteer date organized for November 15 allowed for the opportunity to give back. 

LaPeen was surprised by the number of volunteers. While planning, one goal was to offer a range of dates and times in order to provide a chance for as many as possible to fit this into their schedule. 

To help enable anyone who wanted to get involved to have the ability to do so, the campus Safe Ride, in partnership with Student Government and the Department of Public Safety, was available so that students could get rides to and from the events at both Asbury United Methodist Church and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. 

On the eighth, it was estimated that 10 volunteers would come, and instead, 13 came to volunteer for the events at Asbury Church. This food bank is a mobile pantry held each week. The volunteers saw how vital this event that happens every week is for families in need of support. One aspect of this pantry is passing out water bottles to families still impacted by the Flint water crisis. 

It had ended sooner than expected, as people were wrapped around the block. LaPeen noted how the “people who worked at the church were nice and friendly, and it was a fun day. It’s nice to be able to have fun while also making an impact. So, it was definitely a good experience for me and our volunteers that day.”

On November 15, the day at the Food Bank itself, 15 to 20 volunteers were expected and more than 25 came. Combined, more than 80 volunteer hours were contributed. This food bank is always in need of volunteers as it supports many people in the state of Michigan, including our own Wolverine Essentials. 

For those interested in participating in future volunteer opportunities, announcements are sent out via email as well as posted on Student Government’s Instagram and Facebook. Those with any questions are encouraged to reach out either through direct messages to Student Government or by stopping into the office, where they’re always welcome. LaPeen mentioned how in the future he is “excited to plan some events for next semester that can do the same.”