Sunday, July 8, 2018

SMAS Group Volunteer Project at the Second Harvest Food Bank

Community Involvement is Win-Win

When SMAS English as a Second Language students get involved in volunteer work, it's win-win!  The community benefits through their contributions of time and effort, of course.  But the students benefit, too.  They learn new vocabulary, practice their English, deepen their knowledge of community resources, make new friends, and enlarge their social and business networks. 

Patty Made It Happen 

This group volunteer event was arranged by Transition Specialist Patty Villar.  Sometimes students - and people everywhere! - fear trying something new alone.  Many students have never volunteered anywhere before.  So she set up a time for ESL students to go together to the Second Harvest Food Bank. 

What They Did

SMAS Volunteers gathered together at the end of their volunteer session.
Alt text:  Students and Staff wearing red gathered at a Food Bank.
Twenty three students and two staff members went to the event.  They boxed COBS - condiments, oils, baking goods, and spices.  They readied food for distribution by verifying dates, sorting, labeling, and packing donated food items.  SMAS students and staff sorted and boxed a total of 3,500 pounds of food during their two hour shift.

The SMAS Group at work
Alt text:  Volunteers in red by sorting bins

Words From Patty

"As the Transition Navigator at SMAS, I help students transition into college and careers, but also to become active members of their community.   At SMAS, we strongly encourage volunteering and promote it as a win-win situation!   The community benefits from our students time and effort, and our students benefit by practicing their English, learning new vocabulary, deepening their knowledge of community resources, making new friends, and enlarging their social and business networks.  This group volunteer project was organized to give SMAS students an opportunity to volunteer with their classmates.  Many had never volunteered anywhere before and were fearful of trying volunteering on their own for the first time.   Due to high interest in this project, and a waiting list, more group volunteer projects will be organized in the future!"   

Quote from Student Volunteer

Student Shelley commented that, "Participating in this volunteer activity gave me a sense of happiness and accomplishment". 

More Projects in Future

The event was a big success.  Now Patty is arranging more of these group volunteer events.  If you have an idea for a good one, please contact her at

If you want more information about volunteering at Second Harvest, click here.

No comments: