What is it?
The Western Serves Network (WSN) aims to connect community organizations in the London area with the support they want.
Community partners are welcomed to submit volunteer opportunities for groups of students, and the Western Serves Network team will work to find students to support your organization and its initiatives. Organizations are welcome to submit both one-time, and ongoing volunteer opportunities.
Why might I get involved?
In short, it's a win-win. For student participants, it's a chance to build skills, get involved in the community, gain experience and meet like minded friends. For local organizations in the non-profit community, it's a chance to connect with a large volunteer base capable of helping them to achieve their goals. It's a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship that's at the heart of service learning.
What types of volunteering are available?
The Western Serves Network aims to fulfill the needs of community partners for a variety of event types and projects:
- One-off events and requests (a one time fundraiser)- Reoccurring / on-going events (ex. support for a group that meets weekly or monthly)
- An ongoing partnership with a student organization
The first two make sense, but what's this about an ongoing partnership opportunity?
This year the Western Serves Network is supporting a limited number of ongoing partnerships with student groups. It's a great way to tackle bigger projects, beyond the scope of the typical short-term volunteering experience, with the ongoing support of a group of students!
Groups (like Western's Leadership and Mentorship Program, for example) have self-identified as looking to create ongoing, year long partnerships with a local organization. What does that mean for you? Students in those student groups would support your team from September through to April. In the fall, teams of roughly eight students would look to participate in (ideally) two days of service with your organization. In the spring, they'll collaborate with your organization's volunteer coordinator and develop programming or services that could help increase outreach and/or student engagement at your organization.
In short, the student organization would help develop and implement strategies to help your organization attract more Western students, making their impact sustainable for the future. The project could take many forms from a social media strategy and campaign, to a new website, poster series, campus-based event etc.
The Benefit of WSN
The Western Serves Network is more than a volunteer network that connects Western students to the broader London community and non-profit organizations that tackle ongoing social issues.
It is beneficial for Western students as it gives them real-world experience, develops their transferable skills and offers a sense of civic engagement outside the classroom.
It is beneficial for the community of London because it offers them fresh perspectives, a connection to learning activities and the retention of graduates.
It is beneficial for Western University considering that it strengthens relationships with communities, makes good on the promise of education for public good and graduates productive and reflective citizens.
Log in to www.westerncareercentral.ca
Click on “Event Calendars” on the left hand side.
Click on “Western Serves Network”, also on the left hand side. Choose an event and register! One of our student leaders will be in touch with more details to organize as the event draws close.
You can also join our roster and receive regular updates on upcoming projects and initiatives.
Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and request to be added to the roster.
For community partners:
Fill out the form available at: https://www.westerncareercentral.ca/recruit/westernservesrequest.htm
We'll be in touch after the form is filled out. A student team leader will be assigned to your event and will act as a central point of contact between you and the student volunteers (that way you don't have to field a whole bunch of emails from different students)
Your opportunity will be populated on a student facing calendar and advertised to students! They'll register on the calendar and be prepared to participate in your event.