DUNDALK Institute of Technology (DkIT) has set up a new volunteer organisation called DkIT Cares, which allows students and staff to sign up for various volunteering opportunities in the local community.
The initiative, which is modeled on a similar organisation in Boston called Boston Cares, is the only one of its kind in the country. The initiative acts as a bridge between non profit organisations seeking volunteers and people who are based in the college who wish to give something back.
Students who signed up to the programme designed a float for this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade. The float featured four different people who played out scenarios depicting different volunteer opportunities.
These included a chef who raised the idea of working in a soup kitchen, a painter who portrayed painting a wall and a gardener who showed he could help to transform local green areas.
Members of DkIT Cares started to take part in various volunteering opportunities last week. Members of the initiative helped The Birches organisation, a purpose-built facility for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, to renovate the gardens at the centre.
“I really enjoyed volunteering as part of DkIT Cares and helping out at The Birches. I have an interest in volunteering but I sometimes find it hard to find time in my busy schedule,” said Julie Lyons, a local student and volunteer.
“DkIT Cares allows me to volunteer and give something back when I have time to spare. I like that I don’t have to commit to a range of opportunities, instead I can pick and choose what I want to take part in when I have some free time. I am extremely proud to be part of this initiative.”