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5 Ways to Volunteer in State College

The red cups are back at Starbucks, Christmas carols are playing on the radio, and everyone is pulling out their favorite tacky sweaters. The holiday season is indeed upon us. Amid the delicious treats and favorite traditions, there’s one aspect to the holiday season that should not be overlooked: Giving back to the community. Volunteering and charity work are great ways to give yourself that warm and fuzzy feeling that goes so well with a peppermint mocha. And while the fight against pediatric cancer is so important, there are plenty of organizations other than THON in our very own State College that need volunteers as well. So, in the spirit of the holidays, here are some ways to volunteer in State College:

1. Centre County PAWS

Since 1980, the folks at Centre County PAWS have devoted themselves to finding homes for stray cats and dogs without the use of euthanasia. As a volunteer, you can help with anything from planning fundraisers to answering phones at the front desk. But a particular standout position at this organization is the “Cat Play Pal.” As you can probably gather from the title, your main responsibility is to play with your assigned kitty for a half hour at least three times a week. So you’re telling me that I HAVE to cuddle with a cat? Oh, well if I really HAVE to…

To apply to be a volunteer at Centre County PAWS, apply on its website.

2. Centre County Women’s Resource Center

The Centre County Women’s Resource Center (CCWRC) is a resource for people who have experienced abuse, sexual violence, or assault. Volunteers at the CCWRC answer calls to the organization’s hotline, and speak to those who are seeking help. With the increasing awareness of sexual assault and harassment in our community, this organization is extremely important. Volunteers become certified counselors by attending classes that train you for the possible situations you might face while on the phone with someone in need. Although the process to become a volunteer for the CCWR is a little more involved, the services it provides are truly essential.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer at the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, visit its website.

3. Brookline Village

Brookline Village is a retirement community that offers a variety of living arrangements, from independent living to skilled nursing care. As for volunteers, their responsibilities can range from arts and crafts sessions with the residents to assisting residents with things like reading and writing.

If you’re interested in volunteering at Brookline Village, visit its website for more information.

4. Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center

Shaver’s Creek is Penn State’s nature center. The volunteer opportunities at Shaver’s Creek are actually pretty incredible. Examples include working with “hawks, owls, eagles, and other raptors.” I mean, come on. Raptors?! If predatory birds aren’t really your thing, maybe consider becoming a counselor for the Outdoor School or their Summer Camps.

To learn more about Shaver’s Creek, visit its website.

5. Discovery Space Children’s Science Museum

This museum provides kids with an opportunity to learn through engaging science experiments. Volunteers assist in making these experiments possible for kids to enjoy. Plus if you volunteer at Discovery Space for more than 50 hours in a year, you get a free membership to the museum.

Learn more about volunteering at Discovery Space here.

So spread your holiday happiness a little bit more this year by volunteering at any one of these fantastic organizations. Maybe even continue to spread that good cheer even after Starbucks switches back to regular cups, pop songs return to the radio, and the tacky sweaters are put away!

Where do you volunteer in State College? Let us know!

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About the Author

Anna Foley

Anna is a senior majoring in Communication Arts & Sciences and Spanish with a minor in Theatre. Yes, she went to Spain. Follow her half-funny thoughts @exfoleyator and send her chain emails at [email protected].

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