Windsor, N.J. -- For MCCC staff members Rodney Hargis
and Bryan O'Neal, a project that started through their
participation in this year's MCCC Leadership Academy
grew into something a lot bigger. Asked to create a
project that would take them out of their professional
"comfort zone" and benefit the college as
a whole, Hargis and O'Neal put their heads together
and developed a Volunteer Week event on Mercer's West
Windsor campus that coincided with National Volunteer
Week, April 11-15.
"Our goal was to work with local agencies to inform
MCCC students, faculty, and staff of the opportunities
to volunteer and use their talents to help improve the
lives of the less fortunate in Mercer County and beyond,"
April 12-14, 24 organizations from around the region
manned tables in the Student Center and the quad. Hargis
reports that all of the participating agencies were
very satisfied with the response they got on campus.
"The organizations were most grateful for the opportunity
to join us, and the overwhelming majority expressed
interest in returning should the event be held again,"
"An unexpected highlight for me was talking to
representatives about their organization," O'Neal
said. "I met a lot of wonderful people and was
very much enlightened during this event."
In addition to learning about volunteer opportunities,
members of the MCCC community donated clothing, food
and pet supplies to the Rescue Mission of Trenton, Mercer
Street Friends Food Bank, and SAVE Animal Shelter. Among
other groups that participated were Allies, Inc., Big
Brothers/Big Sisters, Isles, Inc., the National Alliance
on Mental Illness, and the NJ Community Blood Council.
says he is thrilled with the outcome. "I feel that
we were successful in our mission. I am hopeful that
our students will follow through and get involved with
some of these organizations. If nothing else, I believe
we helped raise the level of awareness on our campus
of the need for volunteers in our community. I'm truly
grateful to the participating agencies, our student
volunteers, and to the rest of the MCCC community for
their help in making this such a success."