Giving back is always an option at West Liberty 

By Josh Smith, Contributing Writer 
In college, it is easy to feel disconnected with your community, as many students juggle school, work and a social life. If it were easy, anyone could do it; but there are many ways students can become closer, not only with their community, but with their friends as well. Although it is often looked over, volunteering and supporting community service projects and charities are great for you, your friends and your community. 
Volunteerism and community service projects nowadays are offered in a number of different places. From schools, churches, non-profit organizations and even hospitals, there are countless opportunities available. One of the most satisfying and productive things to do, even with a busy life schedule, is to get involved. 
“My experience volunteering at the local Wheeling Soup Kitchen really opened my eyes about how much some people rely on these places for meals,” said Marcus Sutton, an Athletic Training major. “I enjoy being able to help the community in any way I can.” 
Volunteering and supporting charities does more than help great organizations. It also benefits you in tremendous ways. One of the main benefits is the happiness effect. The happiness effect was concluded in a study done by the London School of Economics, and it suggested that the more people volunteered, the happier they were. 
“I can definitely say volunteering and supporting community projects helped me feel happier,” Sutton said. “It brought a lot of fun and fulfillment to my life.” 
There are many other benefits that encompass the volunteering and community service realm. It allows you to make new friends and contacts that broadens your support group to those of common interests. It increases your social and communication skills as you regularly meet new people, and perhaps most importantly, it allows you to gain experience and valuable job skills that will help you in your future. 
Students at West Liberty University continue to give back and show their support for volunteer and charity work. Phi Delta Theta is holding the Red Carpet for ALS event on March 24. Free food and door prizes will be offered. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds go toward ALS research and the Nardone family. 
The Public Relations Capstone class is also contributing to a great cause, as they are raising funds to support A Child’s Place CASA, a non-profit organization that promotes court appointed volunteer advocacy for neglected children so they can thrive in safe homes.   
“Community involvement is very important to me, personally,” said Tammie Beagle, the Capstone course adviser. “I believe for students to be well-rounded and educated, to understand that life doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and that everyone has not had your same advantages and life experiences.”
There are multiple charitable drives that acquiring donations right now on campus. Some of which are asking for donations to organizations, and some who are asking for volunteers to help those in need. Why not contribute to not only help a better cause, but to help yourself grow as a human being.
For more information on the drives mentioned in this article, feel free to contact me at [email protected]  
Photo credit: Media Relations