Make a difference with your fellow students

Make a difference with your fellow students

Whether you’re interested in joining a community service organization or just want to find ways to make a difference, the Wake Forest community offers plenty of chances to get involved.

Here are some to check out this fall.

Best Buddies

Best Buddies International is the world’s largest nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in finding opportunities and making friendships.

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The Wake Forest Best Buddies chapter celebrated EKS Day on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Named for Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics, the event is celebrated nationwide.

Wake Forest students, students visiting from Carter High School and volunteers from the Winston-Salem community joined together for a day of games and activities on the upper quad.

The Wake Forest chapter hosts monthly meetings open to the Winston-Salem community and has won Outstanding Chapter each year since its foundation in 2014. As student interest grows, the chapter is able to expand and connect with students at more host schools.

In the spring, the chapter will continue its buddy partnership with Carter and will work with organizers of the Special Olympics. Students can volunteer for events on campus like the Buddy Ball dance or the Buddy Walk in the spring.

Saturday Academy

Saturday Academy is a program that pairs Wake Forest students with students at Ashley Elementary who have asked for tutoring and support. While there will be only four tutoring sessions in the fall semester, tutoring will occur almost weekly in the spring, and Saturday Academy’s current co-leaders, sophomores Maddy Jones and Erica Jordan, are working on getting a charter established for the club.

While Saturday Academy always welcomes new volunteers, tutors are encouraged to attend sessions consistently in order to form a bond with the younger students.

“If someone can’t make the commitment to Saturday Academy this semester but would still like to participate, we always end up having more kids in the spring and we need more tutors,” Jordan said.

“Anybody with a passion for service and education can come and help with Saturday Academy, regardless of their major.”

The program uses technology and games to make the work interesting and accessible for students.

“Even though it can be tough to get up on Saturday mornings, it immediately feels worth it when you see the energetic faces of students who are there because they are genuinely excited to learn,” Jones said.

Project Pumpkin

The annual service event sponsored by the Volunteer Service Corps and Food Lion will celebrate its 28th anniversary this year on Oct. 26.

Project Pumpkin is a popular community service event that brings more than 1,100 children from local agencies, schools and nonprofit organizations to campus to “trick-or-treat” with student escorts at booths around the quad sponsored by various student clubs and organizations.

This year’s theme is based on the film“Inside Out,” and volunteers are needed to help with decorating, visiting schools and agencies, and with transportation to the event and as escorts on the day of the event. Students can also volunteer to work at the booths with their favorite organizations.

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