This Week in Service
Department of Community Service
Th e Week of April 6
A Note from the Department of Community Service - 

We are looking forward to continuing to provide virtual service opportunities and other community engagement for the Brandeis community! Keep an eye out for department-specific programs like home office tours, reflections, virtual volunteering, asking questions of the department, etc.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with all the available opportunities and programs we are sharing!

Are you hosting virtual programs? Fill out this form to let us know!
In this email:

  1. Group Card Making Over Zoom
  2. Virtual Volunteer Challenge Week 2: Intergenerational Engagement 
  3. Virtual Open Mic Night
  4. CTSA Medal Winner Announcement
  5. Commitment to Service Award & Virtual Volunteering Update!
  6. *Action Required* - Attention Service Organization Leaders! Important: Celebration of Service Request
  7. Become a Virtual Companion with Companion to Elders
  8. Writing Letters to the Elderly!
  9. DCS Virtual Volunteer Challenge!
  10. Apply to the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship
  11. Apply to the Millennium Fellowship
  12. Volunteer with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Brandeis Community Opportunities
Group Card Making Over Zoom
Wednesday, April 8
12:00pm - 1:00pm

The Department of Community Service and Waltham Group's Companions to Elders are partnering to offer a live virtual community engagement project. Please join us from 12-1PM on Wednesday, April 8th via zoom to make cards for the elderly for Jewish Family and Children's Services (JF&CS). You bring the paper and markers, crayons or paint, and we can be in community together with conversation as we make cards.

No RSVP required. Please join us at Zoom here : https://brandeis.zoom.us/j/846123340
Virtual Volunteer Challenge Week 2: Intergenerational Engagement  
As we transition to virtual life, social distancing can feel even more isolating for elderly members of our community that do not have access to technology. 

This week we are supporting our friends at the Jewish Family and Children's Services by challenging you to write letters or make cards for their elderly  Memory Café  guests! Please help us reach out to them and let them know that our community is still strong and thinking of them! If you would like to participate in this challenge while in community, please attend Companions to Elders' Group Card Making Event over Zoom on Wednesday! 

Guidelines:
 
  • Please mail your letters or cards to Beth Soltzberg, 303 Gray Street, Arlington, MA 02476.
  • Please INCLUDE a blank envelope for each card or letter that you send.
  • What kind of card or letter?
  • Please use only sizes that accept standard postage. Please avoid cards that require extra postage.
  • Pre-made cards are fine
  • Handmade cards are fine
  • Plain paper is fine
  • Written and/or drawn is fine
  • In other words, whatever works for you! Anything heartfelt will be appreciated.
  • Content to include or avoid:
  • Because we don’t ask guests whether they have a dementia diagnosis or what that diagnosis is, please do not mention dementia.
  • If you have volunteered at a Memory Café: please avoid asking questions that require recall of information. Certainly, you can share your references to things we do or have done at the Memory Café. Just share your reminiscences in such a way that it won’t make the card recipient feel pressure to recall something. For example: write, “I don’t know how to tango, but I have a tango attitude!” rather than writing “Do you remember when we learned the tango at the JF&CS Memory Café?”
 
  • Please leave space for a salutation (“Dear ____”), but do not write one yourself. Beth will fill in the salutation with the name of their guest(s)

Please log your service hours for this challenge in CTSA under the program name "Virtual Volunteer Challenge: Intergenerational Engagement". Don't forget to document your participation in this challenge and tag @deis_dcs! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Samantha de Melim at  commitmenttoservice@brandeis.edu
Virtual Open Mic Night
Wednesday Nights
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Please join us Wednesday nights for our virtual Open Mic Night. We will have singing, poetry, and music. Join via this zoom link.
CTSA Medal Winner Announcement 
Seniors, congratulations on qualifying* for a Commitment to Service Award Medal! We would like to publicly honor you on the Department of Community Service's website and social media. If you would like to be featured, please fill out this  form  by Monday, April 20th. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Samantha De Melim at  commitmenttoservice@brandeis.edu . Thank you!

*You must have logged at least 300 hours in the Commitment to Service Award program in Sage and have emailed your  senior reflection essay  to  commitmenttoservice@brandeis.edu  in order to qualify for a medal and be featured. 
Commitment to Service Award & Virtual Volunteering Update!
The Department of Community Service (DCS) acknowledges that the sudden close of campus may have significantly impacted your ability to volunteer with your normal programs and ultimately limited the number of service hours you were expecting to log in the  Commitment to Service Award  (CTSA) program this semester. We also understand that as you have transitioned home to new communities and there are more restrictions in place regarding in-person volunteer opportunities, you may be struggling to find ways to volunteer. DCS has compiled a comprehensive list of  virtual volunteer opportunities and resources  on our website that all count as CTSA approved service hours.  

Remember, service hours in your home community may be logged in this program. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Samantha de Melim at  commitmenttoservice@brandeis.edu .
Attention Service Organization Leaders! Important: Celebration of Service Request
Calling all service organizations! We would like to celebrate all of the incredible service our Brandeis Community has engaged in this past year! We are looking to highlight your organization through pictures, impact data points, and brief video clips thanking your volunteers.

If you are interested in having your organization featured in this new virtual Celebration of Service, please fill out this  form  by Monday, April 13th.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Samantha De Melim at  sdemelim@brandeis.edu . Thank you!
Become a Virtual Companion with Companions to Elders!
Waltham Group's Companions to Elders is looking for eager volunteers to pair with senior residents at Francis Cabot Lowell Mill, one of our partner Senior Centers in Waltham, to stay connected through either email, phone or FaceTime. If you choose to become a "virtual companion," the time you spend being in contact with the residents can still be logged on to SAGE to count towards commitment to service. The times that you choose to stay connected with your companion is completely up to you and your schedule. This is a great opportunity to show your support and solidarity with the elderly at Francis Cabot.

If you are interested in becoming a "virtual companion" or have any questions, please email  Companions2Elders .
Writing Letters to the Elderly!
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As we get used to this new virtual life, there are some elderly in our neighbourhood who do not have access to the internet. As we transition into this period of social isolation, join Jewish Family and Children's Services (JF&CS) and Companions to Elders (C2E) to write letters to the elderly! A representative from JF&CS will be collecting and distributing letters to some of our elderly friends to remind them that we’re thinking about them! 

Please email Companions2Elders f or guidelines.
DCS Virtual Volunteer Challenge!
In the Brandeis spirit of social justice, The Department of Community Service will be issuing a weekly virtual volunteer challenge to our community! Instructions for the challenge will be given every Monday in This Week In Service and shared on DCS social media pages, so make sure to follow along! If you would like to document your participation in the challenge, please use the hashtag #BrandeisVirtualVolunteer and we will highlight new volunteers each week!

All activities will qualify as service hours for the  Commitment to Service Award  (CTSA) program. If you are not already tracking your hours, you can find instructions on how to enroll  here .
Community Partner Opportunities
Apply to the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship
The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship (MPF) is an AmeriCorps program dedicated to increasing youth academic enrichment and college and career exploration through Out-of-School-Time (OST) interventions and data-driven programming. As a Mass Promise Fellow, participants serve at one of our partner youth-serving programs at schools, city agencies, or community-based organizations in Massachusetts.

Fellows will work to decrease the dropout rate, close the opportunity gap, and support the futures of youth. If someone believes in the power of relationship building to positively impact the life of a young person, this role is for them.MPF's training curriculum, networking opportunities, and career coaching provide our Fellows with the opportunity to increase their leadership development and gain meaningful skills needed for careers in the education and non-profit sectors.

For more information and to apply, visit the Mass Promise Fellowship website .
Apply to the Millennium Fellowship
The Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program on your campus to take your social impact to the next level. Access to world class training, connections, and recognition is just an application away.

Early applications encouraged. Next priority application deadline for the Class of 2020 is March 31. Final deadline to apply is April 30. With questions, contact Oona Wood .
Volunteer with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is looking for student volunteers, with experience in public health, to assist local and state health departments with the COVID-19 response. Students may volunteer as much or as little as they can, but all applicants will be required to complete some training as part of this effort. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out this survey.

Those who apply may receive an email from MDPH containing two online trainings that must be completed prior to being matched as a volunteer. Due to the overwhelming response that they have received, MPDH will be making volunteer matches on an as-needed basis. 

Please direct any questions regarding this opportunity to Cindy Thomas.
Connect with us!
Department of Community Service
Shapiro Campus Center, Room 203
P: 781-736-3237

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