Our Service Never Stops

By Lauren Albright ′16

Recognized as one of the top service-minded schools in the country, Rhodes prides itself on the opportunities that it provides to students who wish to uphold that reputation. With exams over and residence halls closing, it is easy to look past the volunteer work, but there are still plenty of service opportunities available for any students who will be in Memphis during Winter Break. These opportunities are a great way to start your community involvement and create long-term connections with other involved students and community members.
One option this holiday break is Souper Contact, which is a Rhodes-sponsored soup kitchen that meets every Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This is an awesome way to get involved in the Memphis community that exists outside of campus. Volunteer work can include preparing and serving food, cleaning up, and, most importantly, meeting community members and forming lasting relationships. Souper Contact is even open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve to give everyone involved a chance to share a meal with friends.

Another great place to start volunteering in the community is the Hospitality Hub. The Hub is a resource center for homeless persons who are looking to exit homelessness. At the Hub, they can receive advice, counseling, and refuge. Volunteers can help work the front desk or help to provide small needs such as hygiene products, coffee, a locker, and computer and telephone access. This is a great place to get exposure to the homeless community and gain a new perspective on this issue, while also helping people combat the struggles that come with homelessness. Volunteers are welcome on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

An additional site that offers plenty of opportunities over the break is Manna House. Manna House is another resource center for the homeless population, as well as others in economic need. Manna House provides a place of refuge where people can get hygiene products, vitamins, coffee, clothes, and a place to talk and make new friends. Volunteers help with all of these aspects, from bagging hygiene products to serving coffee to playing scrabble or checkers with the guests. Manna House welcomes volunteers Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For those students who will be out of town for the break, these sites are also available during the semester months and volunteers are always needed. You can also visit the Kinney website for contact information for other departments and their volunteer sites.
One more important service opportunity for students returning from the Winter Break is the MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 20. Students can choose from a variety of volunteer sites and activities and breakfast, lunch, and transportation will be provided. You may sign up for a listed site on the Kinney inRhodes page at the beginning of the 2014 spring semester.