Mississippi’s volunteer department had a massive year in 2018 with over 15,000 volunteers participating in activities across the entire state. Over 400,000 hours were spent on 3,700 projects and through all their hard work, Mississippi's volunteers raised nearly $650,000 last year alone.
Mississippi State University’s volunteer department contributed to those numbers. Just last year, over 6,500 students partnered with around 85 nonprofits and local partners, and volunteered through various channels to help give back.
Students are encouraged to volunteer through several outlets, whether that be fraternity and sorority life, local leadership communities, the Maroon Volunteer Center or just helping for extra credit. Through the hundreds of organizations and clubs here on campus, there are many ways to help the state.
However, it is not just students who have volunteered. Plenty of MSU staff members participated in local events last year. The MSU faculty, along with helping the city, also operate as advisers for younger volunteers looking to help. The staff also volunteer through the same paths the students do, mostly consisting of the Maroon Volunteer Center and Volunteer Starkville, led by MSU students and the Starkville volunteer community respectively.
With faculty and students combined, MSU accomplished 3,772 projects for the city of Starkville and its local communities within the span of July 2017 to June 2018. These projects are all meaningful tasks, and really help the community in the long run.
Meggan Franks, current head of the Maroon Volunteer Center said just in 2019, the volunteer base has gained plenty of new members with it being somewhere between 6,500 and 7,000 as of right now.
Here in Starkville, volunteers can choose from plenty of tasks to help the city. Whether it be smaller scale tasks like contributing to food pantries, organizing food drives, mentoring and tutoring, or building houses with Habitat for Humanity, help is always needed.
Along with their long list of events around the city, students helped with these bigger events like Habitat for Humanity, MLK Day of Service or Service Dawgs Day. These events, called signature events, always have at least 500 volunteers to help with the process. The biggest turnout each year goes to one of these signature events—The Big Event brought in 1,100 volunteers giving back to their community.
If interested in potentially volunteering through MSU, log onto the Maroon Volunteer Center’s website at www.mvc.msstate.edu for more details.