April is National Volunteer Month, and Inside UNC Charlotte is highlighting dedicated employee volunteers. As a reminder, full-time faculty/staff members receive community service leave to volunteer for activities on and off campus, especially during National Volunteer Week, April 8-12.
As an employee who regularly volunteers both on campus and in the greater community, Bronwyn Jarsocrak knew exactly which charities she wanted to assist during the upcoming National Volunteer Week, April 8-12.
The Second Harvest Food Bank was the first place she signed up to volunteer. Jarsocrak also would like to participate in a Habitat for Humanity building project, but, thus far, the availability hasn’t worked with her schedule.
Jarsocrak, the office manager for the Department of Art and Art History, values the 24 hours of community service leave employees receive. The leave is a state benefit that UNC Charlotte leaders urge eligible faculty and staff members to use.
“I think it’s really generous, and I think it encourages people to do something for the community,” she said. “It’s a great way (for University employees) to get out into the community. You don’t have to use your personal time. That’s a huge bonus.”
The Office of Community Relations in the University Advancement Division has organized several volunteer opportunities for employees to participate in during National Volunteer Week. Assistance is still needed for projects at the Humane Society of Charlotte, Ronald McDonald House, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Second Harvest Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.
Jarsocrak, who has worked at the University for more than four years, said she was volunteering in Charlotte before she learned about the community service hours. Having time during the workday dedicated to volunteering just makes her want to do it more.
Other campus-organized volunteer projects Jarsocrak assisted with included helping out the Carolina Raptor Center, where she performed general maintenance along the trails.
“That was hard work, but it was a lot of fun and very rewarding,” said Jarsocrak, who also has helped fill backpacks with school supplies and food for children.
“By the end of the year, I’m hoping to use all my hours once again,” she said.