By Lauren Khalil
Algonquin volunteers donated their time and hands at Operation Come Home on Jan. 21 as part of the college’s SAO Community Projects initiative.
Valarie Bowman led a team of six volunteers from various programs. They were briefed about the youth center’s objectives and assisted in the smooth running of its daily duties that help local youth.
They folded clothes, cleaned the kitchen, prepared meals, and assisted in the center’s upcoming activities.
OCH is an education, employment, and support centre for at-risk youth, providing the necessary tools to help keep youth off the streets for good.
“They are a great experience and a good way of meeting people,” said third time volunteer for Community Projects and law clerk student Marie Lwamba.
The college does a community project each month, coordinated by the SAO. It has been an initiative at the college since 2012.
Other projects have taken place at the food bank and Silver Spring Farms.
Bowman recently took on her position in December as event coordinator for community projects as well as other group events.
She looks for projects based on who is searching for volunteers that will foster group activity among the volunteers.
“It shows students the options out there and gets them involved. If they like what they’re doing, they can ask on-site for more opportunities,” says Bowman.
The volunteer numbers were scarce at Tuesday’s event as it lacked promotion and interfered with class times.
First-time volunteer, Chris Kolberg, business administration student, said he would like to do more projects, and he hadn’t known they existed before.
After his morning spent at OCH, Kolberg encourages students to, “jump in and have fun. You’ll meet great people, find out more about the city you’re living in, and it adds so much more to the college experience.”