NC State has over 600 student organizations, and many offer opportunities to volunteer in the community. From helping the hungry to cleaning up campus, here are some ways to get involved in service activities at NC State.
Feed the Pack Food Pantry
Feed the Pack Food Pantry is an organization that seeks to help provide food and other essential items for NC State students, staff and faculty in need. Located on campus in the Honors and Scholars Commons, it is a student-led initiative.
Cameron Morris, a fourth-year studying electrical engineering and public relations coordinator for Feed the Pack, said the organization depends on volunteers and food donations. The group welcomes all types of volunteers, from first-years to faculty members, to help operate the pantry. Like a grocery store, the food pantry has a variety of different jobs to be done.
“There would be one person behind the counter filling out some Google Forms to help us keep track of inventory,” Morris said. “You could be stocking shelves, cleaning the food pantry, maybe answering questions of a patron.”
In addition to the day-to-day operations, members of the NC State community assist Feed the Pack with food drives. Morris said these food drives are especially effective when student organizations participate and bring awareness about the food pantry to a broader variety of students. Feed the Pack works to help these organizations carry out food drives and equip them with materials needed for a successful food drive, Morris said.
“For instance, if you’re on the rugby team and you want to throw a food drive for the people connected to the team, that’s a great way it’s happened to a small community so that you can come together,” Morris said.
Environmental Student Association
Another organization where students can serve the NC State community is the Environmental Student Association (ESA) at NC State. Gabbie Frech, a third-year studying wildlife science and co-president of ESA, said the student-led organization carries out various projects to make NC State and surrounding areas cleaner and more environmentally friendly.
“Our goals are to connect with the NC State community and the environmental community in Raleigh,” Frech said. “To leave the environment better than we found it.”
To do this, the group focuses on conservation and environmental projects. Frech said students of all majors are welcome to participate.
“We do a lot of volunteer-based work, like cleanups around campus,” Frech said. “We’ve [also] collaborated with other organizations to put together cleanup activities.”
In addition to caring for the environment, Frech said students can experience social benefits from participating in the organization.
“I would say what I enjoy most about [ESA] is that first of all, I get to connect with other people on campus,” Frech said. “I also feel like it adds a little bit of balance to my life; it’s something that I’m doing that’s not for a grade.”
To get involved, students are encouraged to attend the group’s bi-weekly meetings. Meeting information is posted on their Instagram page, @esa.ncsu.
Best Buddies at NC State University
One place where students can make new friendships in a way that leaves a positive impact on the community is by getting involved with Best Buddies at NC State. Jenna Carlet, a fourth-year studying environmental engineering and president of Best Buddies at NC State, said the group is a chapter of the nonprofit Best Buddies International, an organization that creates opportunities for friendship, leadership and employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“The goal is to build one to one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Carlet said. “As a college chapter, we pair students at our school with adults in the Raleigh area with disabilities.”
Best Buddies works to connect students with individuals that have similar interests and hobbies, so the student and their buddy have something that connects them and builds their friendship. To become a member of Best Buddies at NC State, students should fill out a membership application on the Best Buddies website, Carlet said.
Carlet said participating in Best Buddies gives students the opportunity to build a valuable friendship.
“For my buddy, I always go to her birthday dinner, and she said to me one year that she never had a friend who invites her to dinner before,” Carlet said. “Which is really sad, but also it’s really great to see the impact that we’re having because they’re just looking for that one friend to hang out with.”
These are only three of many ways to participate in service activities at NC State. To discover other opportunities, visit the Get Involved page.