Greetings from the Service and Philanthropy Workgroup for the 2021 NASPA Annual Conference!
Phew, what a year! With 2020 behind us, many of you are probably looking forward to a fresh start. Having hope is critical, but significant change likely will not happen overnight. The 2021 Annual Conference will be held virtually, and while we are disappointed we will not be able to work with nonprofit organizations in and around Kansas City this spring, we also recognize that the pandemic allows us to serve in our own communities and create an even broader impact.
Those who have not attended a NASPA Annual Conference or have not taken part in previous years’ volunteer efforts may not know the diverse ways that NASPA members give back to their host-city communities. As part of its commitment to civic learning and democratic engagement, NASPA offers conference attendees opportunities to volunteer and positively impact each city that hosts the Annual Conference. NASPA firmly believes that we have to model the democratic and civic engagement we encourage among our students, and that the Annual Conference is a shining example of how we can demonstrate this commitment. And while we will not have the opportunity to give back in Kansas City this year, the good news is that we are taking our volunteerism worldwide!
Many NASPA members are already well-connected and serving their local communities in so many ways. Are you serving weekly at the local food bank? Perhaps you have been advocating at city council meetings for city improvements to increase access to public transportation? Maybe you’re volunteering at a place of worship, or you're engaged with local efforts to foster animals? Whether you are already committed to these community efforts, or you want to dive in, soon you will have a chance to join a NASPA movement larger than just you!
Rather than in-person service and philanthropic opportunities at the Virtual Conference this year, the Service and Philanthropy workgroup is inviting conference participants to join #NASPAServes21, a campaign to capture the contributions of NASPA members worldwide. More information is forthcoming, but we look forward to connecting with you during the month leading up to the conference to learn about the many ways that you better your community.
It may be difficult to find service opportunities due to the pandemic, but we are here to support your search for ways to meaningfully contribute to your own communities. Stay tuned for future posts, where we will direct you to existing resources to find opportunities in your local community. In the meantime, we know you’re serving your campuses and students by preparing as best you can for the semester ahead, and we recognize and thank you for those efforts.