Yale Daily News

Civic-minded Yalies can now further their involvement in New Haven through single-time volunteer opportunities facilitated by the Yale College Council and the Yale College Democrats.

The YCC and the Yale Dems released the list of single-time, low-commitment volunteer opportunities on Monday. The list features different pathways to engage with local organizations categorized into seven groups — soup kitchens and food banks, housing and food insecurity, environmental justice, education, translation services, medical services and legal support. The opportunities include initiatives led by Yale students and New Haven groups and vary in schedule, including weekly or seasonal options.

Yale Dems’ City Engagement Director Alexandra Bauman ’21 and YCC City Director Sophie Cappello ’20 worked together to compile the resource for students unable to commit to longer and more intensive volunteering programs.

“Some people felt a little bit lost about where to look for a place to volunteer when they’re able to sporadically,” Cappello said in an interview with the News. “[The list] isn’t a substitute for committed volunteer positions, but rather it’s a resource for students at whatever point in time during their Yale career they can’t commit to weekly positions. This is very accessible and as comprehensive as possible for single-time, low-commitment opportunities.”

Bauman and Cappello searched for existing opportunities online by consulting Dwight Hall’s website and posting a call for opportunities in the Yale Class of 2021 Facebook Group. They then consolidated their findings into the list. They prioritized organizations in need of a consistent number of volunteers, instead of particular people, Bauman and Cappello said. Students can also email Bauman and Cappello other opportunities to include in the list.

Bauman said that the YCC and the Yale Dems also compiled “meaningful opportunities beyond weekly or low-commitment opportunities.”

Cappello said she hoped that this resource will “alleviate a problem with Yale volunteerism,” wherein students overcommit to volunteer positions only to neglect their work during exam season.

“This will make students think critically about volunteerism and be self-aware of how much time [they] can give to be 100 percent accountable,” she said.

Bauman and Cappello explained that the list was geared toward over-committed students who might have difficulty scheduling regular volunteering hours, such as student-athletes.

Tabea Botthof ’22, an athlete on the women’s ice hockey team, praised the creation of this list.

“I think it’s useful for athletes because we might be away at games or attend practice regularly,” she said. “Opportunities to do something over breaks or on certain days would be helpful.”

Bauman and Cappello said they want to help “students interested in engaging with New Haven but don’t know how to do so.” With less demanding volunteering work, students have a “stepping stone to more permanent relationships with organizations or a supplement” to their current volunteering work.

Currently, the list contains 19 volunteering opportunities.

Masfi Khan | masfi.khan@yale.edu