The Clog’s guide to volunteer projects in Berkeley

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Most of us come to college with big dreams of helping people and changing the world for the better. But given our immersion in a fast-paced and demanding academic environment, we may often feel out of touch with these dreams we came in with. Fortunately, we at the Clog have compiled a list of five volunteer events happening in Berkeley to allow you to live that dream with the act of service! This is a great way to meet people and take a break from schoolwork. Also, these important and impactful events are often run entirely by a team of volunteers, so your contributions are extremely valuable and appreciated! Without further ado, here are some ways you can get involved by giving back to your community.

The Berkeley Project

The Berkeley Project hosts a daylong community service event once each semester and welcomes hundreds of volunteers from the UC Berkeley community. This event is held Oct. 26, and you need to submit your application by Oct. 10 at 11:59 p.m. For more information visit its website. Volunteers also receive a fun T-shirt as a thank you for their contributions!

American Red Cross blood drive

The next blood drive is Oct. 22, but these drives also happen quite often. You can volunteer to help pass out flyers, interact with blood donors, and give out juice and snacks! The drives are held from 11 a.m-6 p.m. in East Pauley Ballroom and at the Red Cross Bloodmobile on Bancroft Way and College Avenue. Contact Theresa Evangelista for more information regarding how to get involved, or get in contact with American Red Cross at Cal.

UC Berkeley Food Pantry

UC Berkeley’s very own food pantry works hard to provide equitable access to combat food insecurity in the campus community. It hosts events such as “Pop-up Pantry and provides guidance on how to enroll in the CalFresh food program. Visit its website or email [email protected]!

Prisoners Literature Project

The Prisoners Literature Project is a nonprofit organization that believes the power of books can dissolve the disconnect between individuals in the prison system and the greater community. As a drop-in volunteer, you can respond to letters from individuals in prison, organize books to be sent out and develop a deeper understanding of the United States’ prison system. The project is located at 2022 Blake Street, Berkeley and is hosted every Wednesday, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 2-6 p.m.

Shoreline Cleanup Berkeley Marina

Every third Saturday of the month, members of the Berkeley and wider Bay Area community come together to help clean up trash on the Berkeley Marina shores. This event is very powerful, given that data gathered during these cleanup events has contributed to citywide policy changes, such as the plastic bag ban and the incoming microbead ban.

We hope these ideas get you to start thinking about the different ways to give back to the community. From our team at the Clog, go out and have some fun! We encourage you to give the gift of service today.

Contact Pariswi Tewari at [email protected].