July 25, 2024

Students at California Baptist University volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some, being able to give back to their community and help those in need can be a fulfilling task. For others, volunteer work can be an opportunity to help them fulfill their major requirements or give them the experience they may need for their future careers.

CBU recently signed up with a volunteer platform, VOMO, which gives students direct access to several volunteer opportunities in their community.

Julie Dobbins, director of Compassion and Women’s Ministries, helped connect the campus with VOMO and said it helps simplify finding volunteer work for students.

“VOMO is an awesome resource because it consolidates the process of figuring out where and how to serve. Once you create an account with your CBU email, you can view projects listed by certain categories if you are hoping to serve in an area of specific interest, or you can view opportunities based on the individual projects local organizations are offering,” Dobbins said.

Dobbins said she believes the best way for students to volunteer with organizations is by being flexible with their needs.

“One of the biggest things I would tell students is when you volunteer, while you often will gain a lot from the experience, you will enjoy your time most if you plan to serve based on the needs of the organization or people you’re working with,” Dobbins said. “(This) sometimes requires flexibility or being a little uncomfortable with the task.” said Dobbins.

She also advises that students who sign up should stand by their commitments as it reflects on the campus.

“When you sign up to volunteer, there is someone on the other end expecting, planning and hoping for you to show up. We want to maintain positive relationships with our local partners, so we want to reflect commitment, reliability and eagerness to attend and serve well,” Dobbins said.

Sami Emeish, intern for Spiritual Life and senior biomedical engineering major, said VOMO is a great resource for students who need volunteer hours for majors, such as engineering or nursing.

“If you need volunteer hours or just want to serve on any day that you want, VOMO is a bulletin board for that,” Emeish said. “You don’t have to go out and ask someone for volunteer opportunities. They go to one website, and the project description is there. It tells them when they can sign up, who their contact person is, what the address is. VOMO will remind them once they sign up to serve so they don’t forget. It’s an easy one-stop shop for anyone who wants to serve.”

Hannah Elliot, junior nursing major, has used VOMO and said she finds it convenient for her schedule.

“It’s super-nice and convenient because you get to pick your volunteer hours around your own schedule,” Elliot said. “I usually volunteer at environmental cleanups and beautification projects on the weekend. I had a great experience with these projects because I got to physically see the change the organization does while also hanging out with friends from CBU.”

VOMO is currently offering a variety of volunteer opportunities to students such as beautification cleanups, feeding the homeless population or even helping with cleanup at a local petting zoo.

Students were sent an email Oct. 3 that included an invitation to sign up for VOMO. Those looking to volunteer can also sign up by visiting www. app.vomo.org or downloading the app from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

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