The Viking Volunteers program was established in spring 2013 following the realization by Del Mar College’s Student Government Association that many students were offering both their time and services to the Corpus Christi community. Although some students are required as part of their course curriculum to participate in volunteer work, any student who wishes to volunteer can be a part of the program regardless of their area of study.
Some of the volunteer work that has been provided since the program began includes building houses for Habitat for Humanity, multiple hours spent sorting through food for families and those in need at The Food Bank of Corpus Christi and providing usher service and selling popcorn for the Corpus Christi symphony.
Viking Volunteer Erica Funes (left) works on a Habitat for Humanity house in spring 2014.
“Students volunteer throughout the year for both small and large projects,” said Viking Volunteer Director Beverly Cage.
Cage mentioned a recent 2014 playground build that was conducted by both the Viking Volunteers and the nonprofit organization Kaboom. She said about 200 volunteers showed up on the day of the playground build requested by St. Paul Methodist Church and approximately 50 of those who volunteered were from Del Mar College. Cage said the playground was donated to the community as a gift from the church.
Payton Jones graduated from Del Mar in summer 2014 and still continues to donate her time and help the Viking Volunteers. Jones has been a volunteer since the program first began in 2013 and has participated in about 50 projects.
“When I came to college I finally found my thing,” Jones said. She said she enjoys volunteer work and the best part about being a volunteer for her is “to see the gratitude on a person’s face after helping them.”
Jones advised anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer or considering volunteer work to “find something you would like to do and explore new opportunities.”
Cage added that anyone interested in volunteer work shouldn’t be discouraged or worry about any special skillset.
“The program is designed so anyone can volunteer, regardless of skill,” Cage said.
Any student wishing to volunteer or inquire about being a volunteer can visit Cage or one of the other staff members located at the Student Leadership and Campus Life office in the Harvin Center, Room 105. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and the telephone number is 698-1280. Each student who becomes a Viking Volunteer will receive a program T-shirt and earn credits toward their degree. All materials needed for any projects are provided and no expenses are paid by students. Upon graduation any student who participated in the volunteer program is recognized for his or her participation.