In the spirit of connecting, serving, and partnering with community organizations, this spring 2020 Connections Week featured a half day of community service.
One of the most popular volunteer opportunities was at the Humane Society of North Texas, where volunteers worked in shifts to take out kenneled dogs and organize supplies. Because the North Texas Humane Society never turns away an animal in need, the kennels were packed and volunteers were greeted by a deafening choir of yips and barks from the dog residents.
This environment can be understandably stressful for the dogs, but once TCC volunteers took them to the outdoor play area, many dogs perked up immediately and let their unique personalities shine through. By socializing these animals, volunteers provided an essential service that can help them find their furever homes. Some TCC volunteers even attempted to smuggle a puppy on the return bus based on rumors that Dr. Madison was looking for a pet, but they were foiled by friendly Humane Society staff.
In total, more than 185 faculty and staff served with the following organizations:
- Botanic Research Institute of Texas
- Cook Children’s Hospital
- Fort Worth Parks and Recreation Department
- Keep Fort Worth Beautiful – Litter Control and Graffiti Abatement
- Northside Inter-Community Agency
- Operation Gratitude (on-campus)
- Tarrant Area Food Bank
- TR Health Services (on-campus)
Based on survey responses, several participants found the afternoon of service “peaceful,” “therapeutic” and “a relaxing way to decompress” before tackling the upcoming semester. Another felt serving allowed them to “interact with faculty and staff that [they] would not normally see during the semester.” One respondent found serving allowed them to engage in active learning, writing “it is one thing to listen to someone talk about something and entirely another to actually experience it.” And many volunteers thought service “allowed [them] to see the possibilities [of] incorporating service-learning into [their] class.”
TCC Trinity River’s Day of Service is April 18.
If you are interested in using service learning in your curriculum, contact Edward.Brassart@tccd.edu