Mariah Waite, a third-year sociology and sustainability student from Salem, spent a recent Saturday morning volunteering at Produce for the People, a community garden that serves low-income residents and nonprofit organizations around Corvallis.
Waite, also a University Honors College student, is one of seven undergraduate student coordinators at Oregon State’s Center for Civic Engagement (CCE). Coordinators plan community service projects and events like Make a Difference Day, which brought Waite and an additional 85 Oregon State students, faculty and staff to volunteer at nonprofit community service agencies throughout Corvallis on Oct. 25. In addition to her involvement with the CCE, Waite volunteers at the OSU Emergency Food Pantry twice a month. She says it’s the people she gets to interact with that drive her to this type of work.
“Our volunteers are incredible, and all of our community partners that we work with are amazing,” Waite says.
Sue Domingues, garden manager at Produce for the People, says the work of student volunteers makes a large impact in the Corvallis community.
“The groups that come really help around here,” she says, pointing to tended rows of vegetables. This year, the organization has donated nearly 3,000 pounds of food to agencies serving low-income residents.
Students interested in volunteering or community organizations seeking volunteer support may contact the OSU Center for Civic Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-737-3041.