Programs

Volunteer ActivitiesThe Maroon Volunteer Center is your link to getting involved in service. In 2012, the Maroon Volunteer Center and Volunteer Starkville signed a memorandum of understanding creating an official partnership in volunteer efforts around MSU and the Starkville community. In addition to one-time community service opportunities, we provide volunteers with information on a variety of on-going service programs that give them a chance to really roll up their sleeves and invest in making a difference. To get involved, check out the volunteer opportunities tab to see what is currently going or sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Maroon Edition Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity For the past four years, Habitat for Humanity has partnered with MSU students, faculty, and staff during the fall semester to build a Habitat home as part of the Maroon Edition First Year Reading Experience. During the 2011 fall semester, the Maroon Volunteer Center recruited 596 students, faculty and staff to build a Habitat for Humanity home for a local family as part of the Maroon Edition first-year reading experience. To complete the third Maroon Edition home, a total of 596 students, faculty and staff completed 2,384 volunteer hours.

The build begins in August immediately after school starts. Volunteer slots are available on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00AM-12:00PM or 1:00PM-5:00PM. If you want to sign up your group, please email us at volunteer@saffairs.msstate.edu.

Service DAWGS Day

Service DAWGS DayBy volunteering to help others, over 300 Mississippi State University students, faculty and staff will "Donate a Wonderful Gift of Service" as Service D.A.W.G.S. each August just after move-in-day. Service D.A.W.G.S. Day begins in the MSU Junction, where the Maroon Volunteer Center, along with other MSU student organizations, will host a quick breakfast before dividing the expected 300 attendees into 21 groups and shuttling them to sites throughout Starkville, Oktibbeha County and the Golden Triangle. The day of service is open to incoming freshmen, returning students and MSU faculty and staff. Participants will receive free t-shirts.

Around noon, volunteers will return to The Junction for lunch and each contributing student organization will help host a Service D.A.W.G.S. Day student service-organizational fair.

Service DAWGS DayIn 2012, Service locations included Ability Works, Aiken Village Preschool, Camp Seminole, Clay County Development Center, Emerson Family Center, Gaining Ground, Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity, Starkville J.L. King Center, Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, Oktibbeha County Humane Society, OSERVS, Palmer Home Thrift Store Columbus, Palmer Home Thrift Store Starkville, Salvation Army, Starkville Community Market, Starkville Public Library, Sudduth Elementary, MSU T.K. Martin Center, Starkville Cemetery Association, Oktibbeha County Humane Society, and Columbus East Lions Club. For more information on Service DAWGS Day, email Dr. Cade Smith, Advisor for Service DAWGS, at volunteer@saffairs.msstate.edu.

9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

9/11 National Day of Service and RemembranceIn tribute to all of those who were lost, and the tens of thousands who rose in service, 9/11 has been designated a National Day of Service & Remembrance. Each year the Maroon Volunteer Center collaborates with Volunteer Starkville to organize a variety of service projects dedicated to the National Day of Service, including Habitat for Humanity, 9/11 I WILL pledge drive on campus and in the community, service events at local fire stations, and a 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Ceremony at Fire Station One. In 2012, over 50 volunteers participated in “Serving Those That Serve Us” and event that benefited the local Fire Stations and Oktibbeha County Firing Range.

Make a Difference Day

Make a Difference DayMake a Difference Day is celebrated each year on the 4th Saturday in October. Created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, it is the nation’s largest day of volunteering, thanks to the passion of millions of people like you.

Each year for MADD, Volunteer Starkville and the Maroon Volunteer Center partner together to beautify Starkville by engaging in recycling and cleaning activities throughout the city. Last year, over 50 community and campus volunteers performed over 230 hours of service.

Martin Luther King, JR. Day of Service

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?" Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the MLK holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.

Martin Luther King, JR. Day of ServiceThe MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all "walks of life" to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. Last year, over 60 students participated in Volunteer Starkville and the Maroon Volunteer Center's MLK Day. Students performed a reading day at Emerson Family School, planted Peace Lilies at Fire Station One, and repainted the Brickfire project (an after school program for community youth.)

Mississippi Delta Alternative Spring Break

Mississippi Delta Alternative Spring BreakThe Department of History, the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement, the Maroon Volunteer Center, and the Stennis Institute of Government sponsored an alternative spring break trip last year for roughly 25 MSU students.

Mississippi Delta Alternative Spring BreakAlternative spring breaks allow students to engage in community service and hands-on activities in communities across the country. With the Mississippi Delta Alternative Spring Break Program, undergraduate students can earn three hours of history credit while exploring the storied past, rich culture, and the national implications of the uniquely American, Mississippi Delta.

Mississippi Delta Alternative Spring BreakThis distinctive learning opportunity combines weekly facilitated seminars exploring James C. Cobb’s book The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity (Oxford, 1992) with a weeklong Mississippi Delta experiential learning excursion. For more information on how you or your organization can participate in an Alternative Spring Break within the Mississippi Delta, contact the volunteer center at volunteer@saffairs.msstate.edu.

Click here to learn more about the trip.

National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer WeekNational Volunteer Week draws the support and endorsement of President Barack Obama and members of Congress, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups. National Volunteer Week is about inspiring others, recognizing volunteers, and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It is about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.

Celebrating People in ActionDuring National Volunteer Week, the Maroon Volunteer Center, Volunteer Starkville, and over 100 volunteers will join together to perform 5 days of service and recognize those that regularly serve on campus and in our community. Activities performed during last year's National Volunteer Week include, Love Snacks Food Drive, Soles 4 Souls Shoe Drive, Togo Medical Mission Trip Drive, Y.E.S. Book Drive, Operation Gratitude Mass Letter Writing, Women Walking for Women & Take Back the Night, Legacy Hospice Volunteer Training, Oktibbeha Country Humane Society Volunteer Training, Cotton District Cleanup, Brickfire Painting Project, Walk for MS (Multiple Sclerosis), and the Volunteer Service Recognition Ceremony. For more information on how you and your organization can participate, in National Volunteer Week, email us at volunteer@saffairs.msstate.edu.

Certified MSU Track and Field Meet Official Program

MSU Track and FieldThe Mississippi State Track and Field team offers multiple ways you can volunteer for their 3-4 home meets during the year. Volunteers will get the chance to work in every aspect of hosting and facilitating a track and field meet. Volunteers that are able to attend a short "information session" and volunteer for at least one event will receive a MSU Track and Field officials t-shirt or polo. Volunteers that can attend the information session and volunteer for at least two events will become a "Certified MSU Track and Field Meet Official" by both head coaches and the director of track and field.

Building Bridges for Kids (Bridges out of Poverty)

Building Bridges for KidsIn August 2011, the Maroon Volunteer Center partnered with Starkville Bridges out of Poverty (SBOP) to host a community-wide training event designed for middle-class participants to understand the truths about poverty. Based on the work of Phil Devol, Ruby Paine and Terie Dreussi, the training provides insight on bridging divides that happen along socio-economic lines and presents tools and a common language to aid participants in working together as a community to reduce, prevent and eradicate poverty. A total of 120 individuals from Oktibbeha County participated in the one-day training event.

With the assistance of members of the SBOP steering committee, the Maroon Volunteer Center designed a children’s mentor program called Building Bridges 4 Kids (BB4K). This program trained 17 MSU college students to act as volunteer mentors to 22 children between the ages of 3 and 15. These children are from families of participants of the Getting Ahead class, the second phase of Bridges out Of Poverty. In Getting Ahead the Investigators (participants) work in groups to examine the impact of poverty on themselves and their communities and to explore the world through the lens of economic class.

Community Work-Study Service Coordinator Program

The Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement and Maroon Volunteer Center oversee a Student Service Coordinator Program as part of Federal Work-Study. Community Work-Study Service Coordinators are trained college students with a mission to develop successful volunteer programs within the agency they work for.

The goal of this program is to assist local community agencies in finding and training quality volunteers that could provide consistent volunteer support for the agency and its community programs. This program will help raise awareness of community needs, encourage community engagement by strengthening the relationship between campus and community, and help expand upon the number of students working in community work-study positions. Student’s that are serving as Service Coordinators are paid $7.25/hour with 70% of their wages paid by federal work-study. Community partners that are interested in learning more about the program should email us at volunteer@saffairs.msstate.edu. Students that are work-study eligible and are interested in becoming a Service Coordinator should email their resume to volunteer@saffairs.msstate.edu.

AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps VISTAThe Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement oversees three AmeriCorps VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) who are working to mitigate poverty in Oktibbeha County and Starkville, MS, and within the Mississippi Delta Region by: linking community-minded volunteers with community-based agencies fighting poverty, developing the educational and economic skill-sets and opportunities of citizens who live in poverty, and empowering the “voice” and building the civic competencies of those living in poverty. Each member works full¬‐time and is supported by AmeriCorps with a modest living allowance, health benefits, and an education grant, which can be used for graduate education or to repay qualified student loans. VISTAs will work at the Maroon Volunteer Center and Volunteer Starkville to build sustainable systems for fighting poverty through education.

The goals of the current projects led by VISTAs are to:

  • Connect prospective volunteers to agencies providing educational enrichment, health promotion, civic development, and financial literacy to citizens who are living in poverty (facilitate, coordinate, record, verify, and certify activities and outcomes)
  • Enhance the educational orientation and economic skill-sets and opportunities of citizens who live in poverty to increase internal capacity (tutoring and mentoring, college orientation, economic security and well-being, future-time orientation)
  • Develop and implement program evaluation and revision systems that empower the impoverished citizens’ voice for affiliated programs in Starkville, Oktibbeha County, the Golden Triangle area, and the Mississippi Delta (empowering participant voice, defining assessment, facilitating revision and continuous improvements, matriculating participants to serving on advisory boards.)

For more information on AmeriCorps and to view open positions, click here.

P.R.E.P (Personal Readiness & Emergency Preparation) Program

Campus CERTDuring the summer of 2012, the Maroon Volunteer Center partnered with the Mississippi State University Campus-Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) to host a community-wide training event entitled P.R.E.P, Personal Readiness and Emergency Preparedness. A total of 103 individuals from Oktibbeha County participated in the event and took part in sessions on Disaster Preparedness Kits, Basic First Aid, Evacuation Planning, Local Preparation and Recovery Resources, Extreme Weather, and Care for Children, Elderly, and Animals (in disaster situations).

P.R.E.P. ProgramThese sessions were lead by representatives from the Red Cross, Oktibbeha County Hospital, Mississippi Department of Health, Starkville Fire Department, MSU Student Health Center, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Oktibbeha County Emergency Response, MSU Extension, Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network, and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

Annual Volunteer Service Awards Banquet

Annual Volunteer Service Awards BanquetEThe Maroon Volunteer Center and Volunteer Starkville host a service recognition event to honor volunteers with an exemplary record of service to the university and the community. We offer awards in various categories in that student groups/organizations of all sizes can participate. In order for you and/or your organization to be eligible for one of these prestigious awards, we have created an online service record form that you can use throughout the semester to document you and your organizations community service efforts. For more information, visit http://www.mvc.msstate.edu/service/record.php.

The center is also participating in the PRESIDENT'S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD program as a Certifying Organization.

This AWARD is a Presidential honor that recognizes the valuable contributions of volunteers nationwide who are answering the President's call to serve others through their current volunteer activities or lifetime service. As a Certifying Organization, we will identify eligible recipients, verify their service hours, and distribute the AWARD to outstanding volunteers.

PRESIDENT'S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD

There are three levels of the AWARD varying by hours of service completed within a school year.

Young Adults - Ages 15 - 25

  • Bronze Award 100- 174 hours
  • Silver Award 175 - 249 hours
  • Gold Award 250 or more hours>

Adults - Ages 26 and up

  • Bronze Award 100 - 249 hours
  • Silver Award 250 - 499 hours
  • Gold Award 500 or more hours

Groups and Organizations (two or more people with each member contributing at least 25 hours)

  • Bronze Award 200 - 499 hours
  • Silver Award 500 - 999 hours
  • Gold Award 1,000 or more hours

PRESIDENT'S CALL TO SERVICE AWARD

Individuals who have completed 4,000 or more volunteer service hours over the course of their lifetime.