Beavs Volunteer revamps program, aims to continue work

Beavs Volunteer revamps program, aims to continue work

From construction sites to humane shelters, Oregon State University students take part every week in a volunteer program to help the Corvallis community shine brighter.

OSU Community Engagement and Leadership runs this program, Beavs Volunteer, to give students opportunities to volunteer with local community organizations and help build leadership skills.

These groups include Benton Habitat for Humanity, Heartland Humane Shelter and Care, Corvallis Parks and Recreation, the Room at the Inn women’s shelter and the Starker Arts Garden for Education.

These tasks can range from anything like taking care of nature through Corvallis Parks and Recreation or helping with the upkeep of a garden that donates food to food banks in the Starker Arts Garden for Education.

According to their website, their goals are to, “Meet community-identified needs, complete projects that enrich and strengthen the local community … foster relationships and build community among OSU students and between OSU and the local community … (and) deliver experiential learning experiences that build community-engaged leadership skills.”

Last year, the students would go out once a week to one of these communities for volunteer work.

Students have the option to sign up for Beavs Volunteer for just one week, or they can repeatedly sign up every week.

Phoebe Naughton, program specialist at CEL, said that people would usually show up multiple weeks in a row and are often very chatty during the project.

Naughton’s works with Beavs Volunteer as a site leader, visiting a number of spots throughout Corvallis.

“I think that some (moments) that stand out are at Heartland Animal Shelter, just getting to interact with the animals and getting to play with them and getting that insight into how nonprofits work because I’m in environmental science so that’s relevant to what I’m studying,” Naughton said.

Volunteers start their session with an icebreaker. After that, they are driven by the site leaders to the location where they will be helping out.

This year, there are plans to bring Beav Volunteers in a different direction.

Libia Marqueza Castro, program coordinator for CEL, said “For fall term, we will host a smaller version of Beavs Volunteer, starting in week five. Students will be able to work with the Corvallis Starker Arts Garden for Education.”

BEAV Volunteers plans to launch an updated version of the program in winter of 2024.

“I’m excited for the possibilities in enhancing Beavs Volunteer with the student staff in CEL. We are being very thoughtful in making sure students have a lot to take away from participating in this wonderful program,” Castro said.


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