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Getting Beyond “The Rhodes Bubble”: Volunteering in Memphis

Newsweek has named Rhodes College the #1 most service-oriented school in the nation for two years in a row, demonstrating the love that Rhodes students have for community service and the city of Memphis. This love of community service gives all students a great opportunity to get involved in the community and work with many nonprofits in Memphis. In the beginning, the idea of finding a community service site in Memphis may seem overwhelming or even scary, especially if you are just getting acquainted with Rhodes and Memphis and college for the first time. Where should you start to look for a service site? What service area are you passionate about? What should your email to a service site look like? Who should you talk to in order to learn more about service at Rhodes and in Memphis?
Luckily, Rhodes has a great network for students looking to get involved in community service in Memphis.

The Kinney Program is a campus-wide effort at Rhodes to engage all students in community service and social action in Memphis. Within the Kinney Program, there are student directors and issue area coordinators to help connect Rhodes students to areas of service and service partners. The Kinney service areas are the following: the arts, queer advocacy, animal services and the environment, women’s services, hunger and homelessness, hospitals and healthcare, multinational communities, special services, interfaith, mentoring and education, and community development. The Kinney coordinators are there to talk to students about their service interests and help them start to serve in the community!. Kinney coordinators work to connect students with other Rhodes students who volunteer at various service sites all over Memphis in all issue areas from hospitals and healthcare to women’s services. Kinney coordinators can even help students find a site if they do not have one already in mind. What if you are interested in multiple issue areas and wanted to know of the volunteer opportunities in all of these areas? Each Kinney coordinator sends out a newsletter related to his or her issue area, which will let students know what is going on, including volunteer opportunities and events happening both on Rhodes campus and off campus.. Visit the Kinney Team site on InRhodes to learn more about the coordinators and how to contact them: https://in.rhodes.edu/committees/kinney/Pages/2012-2013-Kinney-Team!.aspx Also, friend ‘Kinney Rhodes’ on Facebook to learn about upcoming ways to get involved!

Memphis is a large city with plenty of nonprofits that are very excited with the prospect of working with Rhodes students. Becoming involved in a Memphis nonprofit could lead to an internship with the organization, a better understanding of the city you live in, and a bit of job experience! Life at Rhodes can be stressful, and having an hour or two a week where you leave the gates, work at Souper Contact or tutor at a local elementary school, may be a welcome break to your hectic week. At the end of your four years at Rhodes, you may even find that the time you spent serving in the Memphis community have given you some of your most cherished memories and experiences.

Get out there and find your service passions, Rhodents! Memphis is on the move!

Kinney Women's Service Coordinator, Rhodes Class of 2013, Lover of cupcakes and icecream
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