GOAL hosted Com­munity Service 101, a weeklong event fea­turing various vol­unteer oppor­tu­nities for stu­dents to get involved in the local com­munity. Nolan Ryan | Col­legian

Last week Hillsdale College’s GOAL program pro­moted vol­un­teering oppor­tu­nities in a six-day cam­paign dubbed Com­munity Service 101.

GOAL hosted a week of “vol­un­teering for mil­lenials,” when they encouraged stu­dents to vol­unteer by adver­tising service oppor­tu­nities more aggres­sively, said GOAL director and senior Lucile Townley.

“One of the things we always struggle with is looping in freshmen and sopho­mores, and getting them to vol­unteer,” Lucile Townley said. “You come in as a freshman, sign up for five billion things, and realize after the first day of classes that you do not have time to do every­thing. And sud­denly all the vol­unteer pro­grams you signed up for become this big and scary com­mitment.”

From last Tuesday until Sunday, the vol­un­teers hung up posters, put fliers and a prize in student mail­boxes, and sat in the union with coffee and stickers during several meal­times.

“Once you vol­unteer once and see the need in our com­munity, right across the train tracks, it’s really hard not to go back and not to make time in your schedule to help our com­munity,” said Townley.

They arranged car­pools to make crossing the train tracks into town easier for stu­dents without cars, and adver­tised oppor­tu­nities to shadow GOAL leaders.

“I always say we want to get people across the train tracks and into the com­munity,” GOAL coor­di­nator and sophomore Michaela Peine said. “It is some­thing that is worth making a pri­ority in your college expe­rience. I know it’s changed the way I view my own aca­d­emics and my own role here in Hillsdale.”

Although GOAL leaders said it was dif­ficult to quantify the amount of exposure their mar­keting cam­paign gen­erated,

“By putting my program in the schedule, I received lots of emails from people who were inter­ested in tutoring on a regular basis,” senior Haley Hauprich said. “I think it’s great that people want to give vol­un­teering a try, but our pro­grams really thrive when people are willing to make vol­un­teering a part of their weekly or biweekly routine.”

GOAL is con­sid­ering hosting another similar event during next year’s home­coming week, when stu­dents are typ­i­cally looking to boost their dorms’ vol­unteer hours. But GOAL leaders say that while Com­munity Service 101 is over, the oppor­tu­nities for stu­dents to help the com­munity are not.

“One thing I’ve been trying to emphasize is that whole cam­paign was just a mar­keting thing. None of these oppor­tu­nities are over. All of these oppor­tu­nities are con­tinuing,” Peine said. “It’s also an incredible gift to yourself. I think that’s one of the worst-kept secrets of vol­un­teering is that is a gift for the vol­un­teers almost more than it is for the people you’re helping.”