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Giving out Inspiration

By Ian Kirksey
On April 28, 2012

Knowledge is power, or so the old adage goes. If this is true, then there was a whole lot of power being given out for free last week. The event was the 17th annual Book Giveaway hosted by FSU's own Braddock House and sponsored by AmeriCorps. It was held from 10am to 6pm on April 21-25 at City Place. The event was open to the community and was run by volunteers. There were forty thousand books given away, all of which were donated by the Christian Appalachian Project. The Braddock house estimates that it gave away around ten thousand books. This is a great example of volunteerism at FSU.


Volunteering is a big part of college life. Most college students should have some experience with volunteerism since most high schools require students to complete a certain number of community service hours in order to graduate. Many on-campus organizations, like Echostars, and on-campus fraternities and sororities, require their members to do some sort of volunteer work, which is understandable as volunteerism builds stronger ties with the community and makes life a little better for everyone. This is important because both the students and citizens of Frostburg have to share the same area.


Take for example Relay for Life, the yearlong fundraising event that the school has been hosting for several years to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Relay for Life brings in a lot of money. At the time of publication, the 2012 Relay for Life had raised $56,562.74. A good question though is: where do all the workers who put in the man-hours to advertise and hold events for these come from? Well the answer is the Braddock House.


The Braddock House is a small white house off-campus located just across Braddock Road from Pullen and the PAC. It is very non-descript and if you are not looking for it, it can be easy to miss. Braddock House is home to the Office of Volunteerism and National Service, Office of Leadership & Experiential Learning, and AmeriCorps at FSU. Braddock House is the place that the school or an organization will go to if it feels that they do not have enough manpower.


Helping other organizations in recruiting volunteers is not the only thing that gets done at the Braddock House. The Braddock House also hosts its own events, such as Read to Succeed, whose mission is described on the FSU website as "to provide children, grades K-8, with two hours of free tutorial services a week. The goal of the tutoring is to raise students' reading levels as measured by pre- and post-testing, foster a love for reading within the students, promote students' self-esteem, and equip students with specific academic skills and strategies necessary to read." Read to Succeed is coordinated by AmeriCorps member Jamie Irvine.


There is also the Day of Caring and Sharing, which was held on April 21.The premise of the Day of Caring and Sharing is to simply make the community a better place, by doing things such as cleaning up trash, planting flowers for gardens, and painting houses.


Essentially, the Braddock House is the center of volunteerism at FSU.  For more information on Braddock House, AmeriCorps, or volunteering at FSU in general visit the FSU website and search student and community involvement or by visiting the Braddock House in person.

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