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Volunteering Rises on Campuses

More than 3 million students nationwide are giving time and effort to help others.
By MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS
(excerpted from The Kansas City Star )

Twice a year, University of Central Missouri marketing students start a business to learn what it’s like to run one. Then they give away all their profits.

Central Warmth, the student company that senior Dane Power led, earned more than $6,000 this winter selling stainless-steel coffee mugs. Every penny went to Project Warmth, which provides winter clothing to the needy. Other students gave 337 volunteer hours to the charity.

Another student company at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg gave its profits to the Salvation Army. In three years, students in the university’s Integrative Business Experience program have donated more than $30,000 to charities.

Today’s college students are raising more money for charity than ever before, say Missouri and Kansas university student life officials. Voluntarism among that age group is driving a national upswing in volunteering, experts say.

University officials say most giving by students is in the form of community service.

Missouri is one of the top 10 states for college students’ volunteering, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Students said that although it may be easier to toss a buck in a bucket than carve out a few hours to tutor, collect canned goods or help build a house, volunteering is the only way that many can afford to give.

“Most of the students we ran into while we were selling coffee mugs had more of a charitable heart than they had money in their pockets,” Central Missouri’s Power said. “They would say, ‘I don’t have $15 for a mug, but I’d like to help ” out. What can I do?’