As the end of the academic semester and calendar year draw near, there is still time to take advantage of an underutilized benefit offered to most NC State staff: time off for community service, volunteering, tutoring and mentoring.
All SHRA and EHRA employees who work at least 20 hours per week are allotted up to 24 hours for volunteer activities, or one hour a week (up to 36 hours annually) for mentoring/tutoring in a school-affiliated program for “at-risk” students or five hours a month (up to 45 hours annually) for participation in a public school literacy program. These hours are pro-rated for those who work less than 40 hours per week.
Full details for all programs are available through NC State’s Human Resources website. Employees must have supervisor approval to use community service leave.
So far this year, of approximately 6,300 eligible NC State employees, a total of 1,156 have utilized some portion of their community service hours. They have given a total of 11,308 hours to various local, state, national and international not-for-profit and public initiatives.
There are some restrictions about what organizations qualify for community service hours and the activities associated with them, as detailed in the community service section of the State of North Carolina human resources manual.
Multiple organizations with campus affiliations that qualify for community service are looking for immediate help, especially those associated with relief efforts around the state in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
The Feed the Pack food pantry, located at 1333 Broughton Hall, needs volunteers to help organize and distribute the contributions it has received. Groups and individuals can sign up to volunteer for this student-led initiative.
The NC State staff senate also needs volunteers in collecting new and gently used coats for its Warm the Pack drive, which has been extended to Nov. 28, to provide students in need from across the UNC system for the coming winter.
There are also multiple organizations with campus affiliations that qualify for community service, including the Habitat for Humanity Build-A-Block project, which is building 11 townhomes near Centennial Campus. It’s the nation’s largest university-associated Habitat project.
In addition to raising $715,000 to pay for the 11 homes, thousands of NC State faculty, staff and students are expected to participate in the project. Groups and individuals can sign up to volunteer on line, though most of the slots for calendar year 2016 are taken. There is plenty of availability for 2017.
The first phase of the project, which includes five townhomes, is in line for an on-time completion by the end of January 2017. The second phase, which includes six townhomes, will begin in January, with a dedication for all 11 units slated for May 6, 2017.