Photos by Kaelin Mendez
Pepperdine Volunteer Center is encouraging efforts toward recent events through specific volunteer opportunities to help the people of the 50 counties affected in Houston by Hurricane Harvey.
The Volunteer Center helps students give back to victims of recent hurricanes and mass shootings by raising awareness, setting up a blood drive with the Red Cross, and coordinating a Project Serve team to go to Houston.
“The Volunteer Center is all about community engagement,” Hayley Rothballer said, an Education and Literacy coordinator for the PVC. “There are tons of service opportunities that we set up to encourage this kind of involvement including beach cleanups, helping young adults with disabilities, and tutoring juvenile delinquents. Something simple you can do is to have an attitude of service in everything you do here at Pepperdine and around Malibu.”
The biggest way students can help with hurricane relief is by signing up for Project Serve, said Elizabeth Hsueh, the PVC’s Jumpstart program assistant. This year, Project Serve is taking a team over spring break to Houston to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.
“Project Serve is an ongoing, year-long service project,” Hsueh said. “This year, there were 18 different domestic and international trips for students to chose from, each with a different service cause. The locations for the trips ranged from New York, to Guatemala, to Catalina Island, to Hawaii, to Costa Rica.”
Project Serve occurs over spring break in different locations around the world to help with specific causes, such as hurricane relief, environmental conservancy, or education.
The PVC is still looking for applicants for Project Serve and applications are live on their website.
On campus, the PVC hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross last week from Oct. 17 to 19 to help recent victims of the Las Vegas shooting Oct. 1, when 489 people were injured. The Blood Drive was able to take in about 30 students each day. One pint of blood can save up to three lives, according to the American Red Cross.
“The blood drive meant to be giving blood to help those hurt by the hurricane but Las Vegas happened so I think most of the blood went to replenishing local supplies from the area,” Rothballer said.
The PVC is preparing for its annual Hunger and Homelessness Week. The event will take place Nov. 14 through 18. During the week, the PVC will host different speakers to educate Pepperdine students on homelessness within Los Angeles county, a world hunger simulation, and screenings of films to raise awareness.
Pepperdine students will have the opportunity to volunteer within the local community during Hunger and Homelessness Week.
“The Volunteer Center sends groups of students to participate with partner organizations such as School on Wheels or the Boys & Girls Club to help with literacy and education within our own community,” Hsueh said. “There are student coordinators who organize these trips and would love to talk to anyone who is willing to help out!”
The PVC offers weekly volunteering opportunities, and students can reach out by going to their website.
For more information about how to donate to hurricane relief, students can contact the Volunteer Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or the student Project Serve coordinators Jessie Mandel (email@example.com) or Chanel Diaz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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