It was a busy week for UNC Charlotte employees who used their paid community service leave to volunteer across the campus and city of Charlotte during National Volunteer Week, April 8-12.
Employees packed 1,200 meal supplement backpacks, 1,500 pencil pack kits, 1,500 toiletry kits and made 2,500 sandwiches. University alumni helped sort clothing donations at Crisis Assistance Ministry.
On Thursday, 138 volunteers collected 241 pounds of trash and more than 85 pounds of recycling. And faculty, staff and students cleaned kennels and fed dogs and cats at the Humane Society of Charlotte. They even got a special treat: They played with two dogs at the end of their work shift, said Jessica Yesgosh ’15, executive assistant for advancement operations.
These are just a few of the volunteer activities employees participated in during National Volunteer Week. The Office of Community Relations in the University Advancement Division organized the various opportunities. Employees receive 24 hours of community service leave a year, a state benefit that UNC Charlotte leaders urge eligible faculty and staff members to use.
Derik Screen, a business intelligence analyst in Business Affairs, said volunteering has become an integral part of his work life. He’s volunteered with several organizations alongside his fellow employees in the Office of Business Affairs. The office spent Friday volunteering at the Camino Community Center, which provides free health care, a food pantry and other services to low-income and homeless individuals and families.
Screen said volunteering is an opportunity to “use our skills and use our abilities to provide services for people.” He added that the community service leave gives employees the flexibility to volunteer.
Second Harvest Food Bank and the Crisis Assistance Ministry are other agencies at which Screen has volunteered. He said working with the Crisis Assistance Ministry was the most impactful experience, because he’s met so many people who are in need of little things.