Volunteer UGA

Volunteer UGA is a community of service based organizations that all work towards promoting a spirit of service among the campus and community of Athens.
Volunteer UGA is dedicated to encouraging, shaping, and supporting a culture of service within the University of Georgia and Athens-Clarke County communities. It aims to strengthen collaboration among service groups, connect interested students with volunteer opportunities, and provide the tools necessary for the success of service organizations on campus.
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Our Co-Directors of Education, Jaime Connor and Yemsi Alli, along with our Director of External Affairs, Gina Yu, are working on some educating and entertaining vlogs for UGA’s viewing pleasure. The videos will be coming out bi-weekly! 

GET PUMPED! :D 

Gina Yu

Describe yourself in 5 words.
quirky. creative. compassionate. optimistic. thoughtful.

Describe your organization in 5 words.
awesome. hard-working. passionate. resourceful. welcoming.

Why do you serve? in 7 words.
To give back beyond what I received.

What do you do outside of service work?
I can be seen chasing down sources for articles, stuffing my face with delicious Athenian eats and bopping around to the soundtrack of life.

Favorite superhero power?
I would want FOOD VISION. It’s like laser vision but instead of lasers, it shoots food. Cure world hunger and give everyone more delicious alternatives!
favorite place to hang out on campus?
Favorite place to eat in Athens?
I could never just choose one! 
Dream job?
Travel Writer or Food Critic. Get paid to work hard while seeing the world through bite after flavorful bite.
Dream living location after college?
Never been to Boston or California, but I heard I would fit in haha I definitely want to go back to Italy and maybe Ireland or India next!


Marianne Ligon

Describe yourself in 5 words.
unique, thoughtful, inspired, busy, risk-taker


Why do you serve? in 7 words.
fun, learn, build, grow, lead, communicate, challenge


What do you do outside of service work?
Research in the Terns’ lab, Journal for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (JURO), traveling, and cooking.


F
avorite superhero power?
Teleportation, so I won’t be late to things!

Worst skill in life?
I can’t whistle and I can’t pick favorites.

Coffee?
Americano with a touch of creamer and sweetener, and if I’m feeling special, hazelnut or chocolate flavoring.

Dream living location after college?
NYC or Germany (with a large piggy bank of course)


Jaime Connor

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Laughing. Is. Contagious. Try. It.
Why do you serve?
Giving back makes the world a better place. 

What do you do outside of service
work?
I work a lot. 
 
Favorite superhero power?
Reading people’s minds because facial expressions can be misleading. LoL.
Favorite place to hang out on campus?
Dawson Hall. College of Family and Consumer Science/. “Dawson is Awesome”
Best thing you’ve ever eaten?
My grandmother’s sweet potato pie
Worst skill in life?
Do not know how to swim
Dream job?
Secretary of Education for the United States of America.
Dream living location after college?
Anywhere that will pay salary with benefits. haha. 


Yemisi Alli

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Relaxed. Observant. Focused. Poised. Sociable.

Describe your organization in 5 words. 
Helpful. Reliable. Well-Oriented. Leadership. Hierarchy. 


Why do you serve? in 7 words.
This place we call earth needs help. 


What do you do outside of service work? 
Busy studying for medical school and being an RA.


Best thing you’ve ever eaten?  
My native Nigerian foods, nothing else come close.

Worst thing you’ve ever eaten?  Baklava and Fig Newtons.
Dream job? Obstetrics/Gynecology
Dream living location after college? Florida


Raven Gibson

Describe yourself in 5 words. 
Curious. Laughing. Rambunctious. Awful (as in, full of awe). Grateful

Why do you serve? in 7 words. 
Gratitude for the universe and all humanity


What do you do outside of service work? 
Laugh and walk slowly and read and sing and work at Ben & Jerry’s. 

Favorite place to eat in Athens? 
Fuzzy’s

Worst thing you’ve ever eaten? 
Bacon flavored dog food

Dream job? 
Arts and Education Advocate/Ambassador for the Federal Government


Breanna Crowell

Describe yourself in 5 words.
I am optimistic, reliable, cheerful, organized, and logical.


Describe your organization in 5 words.
VUGA is helpful, enthusiastic, and passionate about service.
 
Why do you serve? in 7 words.

I love putting smiles on other’s faces.
 
What do you do outside of service work?

I like hanging out with friends and family, watching movies and sports, and being outdoors.
 
Favorite superhero power?
I would want to be able to breathe underwater without SCUBA gear so I could see the different parts of the ocean and all the sea creatures that live there since so much of it is unexplored. 
Dream job?
Working for Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund or the EPA.

Dream living location after college?
Alaska

thetrevorproject:

There’s always someone in our lives that may need a helping hand.


Rachel Monteagudo

Describe yourself in 5 words.
positive. adventurous. creative. empathetic. CATS.
Describe your organization in 5 words.
Rotaract - general service. international community. networking.
Why do you serve? in 7 words
Fulfillment. Curiosity. Purpose. Humbling. Appreciation. Relationships. Encouragement.
What do you do outside of service work?
Lots of things but my favorite is to SLEEP. What a rare treat!

Best thing you ever ate?
I’m not sure if this is the best thing I have ever eaten but it may be the most interesting.  In Spain, I ate paella that was black because they cooked the octopus and squid whole so even the rice was black with ink. Paella Valenciana!
Worst thing you ever ate?
Chocolate. Yes, I’m weird. But it may be the only food I don’t like. It smells bad.
Worst skill in life?
I would like to say I’m a good driver. But I would be lying. 
Dream job?
Foreign Service Officer in Latin America (somewhat realistic) OR World Famous DJ (a bit less realistic), both of which would be CRAZYY
Dream living location after college?
Lagos, Portugal or Monument Valley, Utah (google these and the pictures will do the explaining)


Stas Bushik
Describe yourself in 5 words
Considerate, caring, logistical, deliberate, overthinking
Organization in 5 words
Helpful, caring, beneficial, awesome, selfless
Why do you serve?
To help better the lives of others.
What do you do outside of service work?
Study, study, study, and, well…study. Oh and go to my research lab and work sometimes.

Favorite superhero power?
The ability to pause time. I would want it because I could accomplish anything and everything that I would ever want to.
Favorite place to hang out on campus?
haha. The science library. It’s my second home.
Best thing you’ve eaten?
Everything I had in Costa Rica over study-abroad was ridiculously delicious.
Worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
I don’t know what it’s called in English, but its a traditional Russian dish that is comprised of ice cold meat and gelatin. My entire family is adamant that its delicious but I can’t disagree any more strongly.
Dream job?
Top Gear (British TV show) presenter
Dream living location post-college?
Somewhere in Colorado for sure. Mountain biking/snowboarding heaven!

Grace Huang!

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Graceful, dependable, caring, random, thoughtful.
Why do you serve? in 7 words.
I serve because it is my passion.
What do you do outside of service work?
Classes, other clubs, and more service!

Favorite superhero power?
Reading minds - I think it would be interesting…and fun.
Favorite place to hang out on campus?
Tate - there’s always so much going on.
Favorite place to eat in Athens?
Five Star Day Cafe - best grits, ever.
Best thing you’ve ever eaten?
Breakfast foods - french toast, grits, waffles, yum.
Dream living location after college?
California or New York!

Contact Grace at vugaadministration@gmail.com for help on organization strategies or just to talk about how awesome breakfast is (:


Deanna Waller!

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Determined, optimistic, empathetic, competitive, fun.
Describe your Volunteer UGA in 5 words.
Collaboration, community, innovative, supportive, AWESOME.
Why do you serve? in 7 words.
To leave the world a better place.
What do you do outside of service work?
Listen to music, athletic training for UGA, read books, learn how to cook, hang out with friends, eat great food.

Favorite spot on campus?
Herty Field. I love to lay down near the fountain!
Favorite place to eat in Athens?
Transmet!
Dream job?
Working as an ATC/PA in the NFL.
Dream living location?
Anywhere on a beach with warm water.

Contact Deanna to chat about service or if you need some athletic assistance[(;] at dnwaller1@gmail.com.

Organization: Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)

Meeting: 5:45pm, Tuesdays, Caldwell 203

In Students in Free Enterprise, we view community service as the driving force of our organization. Our goal is to serve the Athens community in the most effective ways, addressing the most crucial needs of the people. We have chosen to focus our efforts on two different issues in Athens: hunger and financial illiteracy. We believe that these two issues go hand-in-hand in this community. If we can teach families to be financially sound, they will be able to sustain a lifestyle that will allow them to properly feed their families and pay the bills at the same time. Our hope is that we can teach these families how to live and spend money in a sustainable manner. We work to address these issues first hand, by interacting with the community and sharing our knowledge with them.

Organization: CURE at UGA

Meeting: 7:00 Wednesday SLC

Service is a state of heart and mind - not just an act. It is having a lifestyle of loving and placing others above yourself - whether that is in a different country or on UGA’s campus. Service is giving the plenty that you have to those who have little. It is having a humble heart in knowing that you are no better than anyone else. CURE at UGA is dedicated to serving children around the world who have curable diseases and cannot afford the surgeries. It is about serving the women who are outcasted and abandoned because their children have a physical deformity. It is also about serving the other students on this campus through the way that we live, interact, and love each other. Sustainable service is continuing to push forth and serve even when it’s hard and even when you cannot see the fruit of your actions. We as an organization serve through raising money and awareness for these kid’s conditions and need. Our goal is to capture people’s hearts and help them to be a part of something so much bigger than themselves.

Organization: Abraham Alliance

Meeting: Tuesdays, 5pm

We try to organize service projects frequently. We are having a service project on the 13th of October. We will be going to religious institutes (a church, a mosque, and a synagogue) and we will be cleaning up and performing any repairs we can do. We plan to do other volunteer events around the year.

Organization: Chroma at UGA

Meeting: Wednesday, 7pm, MLC 253

CHROMA is an organization that seeks to find the union between the creative arts and social change. Despite our members various backgrounds and pursuits, we are united under the belief that art is more than something that sits in a museum or on the pages of a book. We believe that art is a powerful agent of change in the world and seek to prove that it really can make a tangible difference.

In order to make that goal realized, we address a wide array of issues but choose to deal with each of them singularly and in specificity on a month by month basis. We attend to local issues such as poverty, environmentalism, education, abuse, and discrimination. Through this method we can give each area the focused, customized attention it disserves while also connecting all kinds of people, disciplines, and ideas through our projects.

Specifically, our efforts of service include launching an apparel line with each item’s profits going toward a different cause (a couture hijab which would support victims of religious violence for example), designing and implementing public interactive works to inspire and educate the general community, as well as working with artists who engage important social issues in their works among many others. Our approach is as broad as creativity restricts, and we consider our wide scope one of our greatest aspects. Our culture of collaboration is central to our method of problem solving. We feel that true innovation comes from making new associations between otherwise distance and unallied realms.

Ultimately, we hope that all of our efforts will foster a greater understanding of the importance of creative thinking in solving all social issues. In a society that so undervalues the power of art, we feel that our organization is not only critically needed today but has the potential to harness a previously untapped resource for the betterment of our community. To serve is to lead by example, and what potent examples artworks can be! This is what service means to us.

Organization: Simply Me

Meeting: Tuesdays at 5pm, in the CSO cubicle area

Here at Simply Me, we believe that service is an important component of a successful woman’s life. By giving back to the community not only allows us to help others who are in need, but it also allows us to over all better our lives with self-fulfillment. The charities that we have chosen to partner with are called Thistle Farms and Project Safe. These groups go hand in hand, in that they both help battered women turn their lives around for the better. Service is one of the many reasons why Simply Me was founded. It means a lot to our organization to put a smile on someone’s face.

Organization: Athens Campus Lions Club

Meeting: 6-7, Tuesday, MLC

Athens Campus Lions Club is a branch of Lions Clubs International, the largest service organization in the world with over 1.35 million members from 207 countries. We were honored to have Past International President Wing-Kun Tam charter our organization on November 17, 2011.

Our Mission Statement: “To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.” We provide students with a hands on opportunity to give back to the community while engaging in service learning and gaining experience to help in their field of study. The possibilities for community service are endless. These may include helping the blind, sponsoring drug awareness programs, starting a mentoring program, participating in Habitat for Humanity projects, and many more. Students are encouraged to come up with their own ideas for fundraisers, activities, projects, etc. We work as a TEAM to provide service and help, and promote peace and giving to our community and the world.

Organization: Msaada Association

Meeting: Mondays, 5:00PM, near Jittery Joe’s

Service is an act that provides for a community based on the community’s needs. Msaada Association fundraises towards sustainable service projects to a variety of non-profit organizations in Tanzania. Our organization is meant to support projects that would assist non-profits work towards becoming independent in managing their funds or necessities. After funds have been raised throughout the school year, students who attend the University of Georgia Service-Learning Abroad program in Tanzania will bring the money and work one-on-one with non-profits in the area. The program emphasizes the importance of understanding community needs through interaction and not imposition of what we determine their needs to be. Together, the non-profit leaders and students (many who have assisted in fundraising) will determine which projects or items to fund. By buying these items in country, the money goes towards the local economy and the betterment of the entire Tanzanian community. Sustainable service is service that allows for a continuation of success and rids of dependency on the server. The idea is to invest this service in effective practices or items that will move communities forward until these communities continue to move forward without assistance. Previously, the funds we have raised have gone towards mosquito nets for the overall betterment of health and malaria prevention of orphans, chickens to start a farm for both food for orphans and to sell for profit that goes towards the orphanage, and a gated door for the security of children at another non-profit orphanage.

In regards to our fundraising methods, we do our best to continue to support sustainable practices. The majority of our funds have come from food sales, Tanzanian bag sales, and recycling ink cartridges and phones. The Tanzanian bag and any other Tanzanian items are all bought in Tanzania by the students of the service-learning program to support the local economy and local people.

We do our best to uphold sustainable service through our organization. In the future, we hope to be capable of funding an institution and orphanage in Moshi, Tanzania that will house interim orphans who are older and have nowhere to go due to limited facilities, help these children transition into a new facility or school, and continue to support them through any educational needs they may have until they find an occupation and become self-sufficient individuals. This institution will also be a learning facility for students in Tanzania and anywhere in the world to learn about cross-cultural non-profit practices and best methods towards creating sustainable projects.