Volunteer experiences educate the heart

By Marissa Roberto
February 4, 2016

Photo by Emily Rowan.
Photo by Emily Rowan.

The Wolfington Center plays an important role on campus when providing volunteer opportunities to the Cabrini community to help the vulnerable in the surrounding towns. The center is a place where students go to learn more information about these volunteer experiences and are able to ask the staff questions if they are interested in volunteering.

“[For students] to kind of understand that idea of the education of the heart and not just learning the academic part of what they do but how that applies to the real world it is a great time to get experience,” Tom Southard, director of The Wolfington Center, said.

Father Carl Janicki, director of campus ministry, is also involved with the service and retreat options that the campus has to offer its students and faculty.

“We provide these [opportunities] to help students continue their growth and development through direct contact with those in need, and reflection upon the experience,” Janicki said.

The Wolfington center is also in charge of setting up these volunteer moments as part of the mission of the college.

Photo by Emily Rowan.
Photo by Emily Rowan.

“Compassion, Structural Change, Humility [and] Solidarity highlight what we try to start for the students,” Janicki said.

The four stages suggest that every human experiences life whether they are rich or poor. This process is presented to people, in not any particular order, that is geared to lead to a positive and understanding attitude change towards the unfortunate.

Through these stages, Janicki suggests they are of a process that leads to a strong commitment to acknowledging and caring about the vulnerable and poor

“Volunteer work is important for all levels,” Southard said. “You find a lot of freshman who are interested in just doing a volunteer experience here and there, stopping at different organizations. And as our students get older, often they spend more time delving into deeper volunteer experiences.”

Southard works with many students who grow a strong bond with an organization they have found work with over the course of a whole semester. These students meet at the association up to 10 times a semester.

“They are starting to understand why that organization is important, they gain a reputation there, great professional experience,” Southard said.

Working with the poor and vulnerable gives students the hands-on experience they would not come into contact with in a classroom.

“It is great for the resume,” Southard said. “It is great for understanding their course work. But also it hopefully changes peoples hearts and minds and understanding of the world.”

Marissa Roberto

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