Whether you attended the Big Event this past weekend, there are still opportunities and programs for volunteers. The Municipal Volunteer Program is a good example.

Volunteers are integral to Arlington’s day-to-day operation, organizational development specialist Sara Wilhite said.

“There are certain activities within every division or every area of the city that would not be possible without the help of our volunteers,” Wilhite said.

The program accepts volunteers for many of the city’s departments, such as animal services, police, fire and teen court.

“For example, animal services has volunteers who come in and they socialize with the animals, they help us with laundry, so like towels for bathing,” Wilhite said. “They help us with our adoption events.”

Some of the opportunities require training and the ability to respond to serious and sometimes stressful situations, such as the fire program.

“Our fire program is called CERT. And what they did is they actually train, so in the event of a natural disaster, like a fire, flood, tornado, we have citizens that can mobilize to get out and help with Red Cross, help with the city, help get people their basic needs,” Wilhite said.

While the volunteer opportunities are open to everyone, the City of Arlington has unpaid internships that should appeal to students at UTA.

“Our unpaid internships, which function like a volunteer, except usually for school credit,” Wilhite said. “We align with the university or the ISD and just partner with them to see what students can come and do in order to further their career or get school credit or just make some contacts and job shadow people in their field so they know what to expect once they graduate.”

Students can also get involved with the UTA Volunteers. The organization’s focus is not just on campus, but the Metroplex as well, Cherith Naig, MavsACT director and biology senior, said.

“We also volunteer with different organizations outside of UTA, like Boys and Girls Club. We go to Green Oaks Home for the elderly, and we do animal shelter visits,” Naig said. “It just depending on what you like to and where you like to volunteer.”

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in things students really care about, exercise science sophomore Hoang Nguyen said.

“It’s a good way to get experience, volunteering,” Nguyen said. “As a volunteer work, you aren’t getting paid, so then it shows people who really want to do it, then they go do it, there’s no real ulterior motive.”

Computer engineering junior Daniel Singh said volunteering is a great way to expand contacts.

“It’s a great thing to do,” Singh said. “It’s fun, you get to meet people who are very kind and like-minded.”

@stefankenyon

features-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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