CofC Volunteer Corps: “Started from the bottom now we’re here”

“It’s a little cliché,  but, we started from the bottom… and now we’re here,” stated Katie Boyle, President of the Volunteer Corps Club at The College. Though Boyle was hesitant to use the well-known and cheesy one-liner about climbing the ladder to success, she has every right to embrace it. Halfway through the interview with Boyle, it was obvious she is a devoted, passionate leader for Volunteer Corps and a proud one at that. Like all good climbing-the-ladder stories, Boyle narrated the club’s foundation (practically built from scratch), its endeavor to rid itself of the underdog status, and the club’s future goals.

Katie Boyle’s experience with Volunteer Corps really did start from the bottom. The club had been dormant for several years, unattended and inactive. It wasn’t until 2012 that members of the club started to bring Volunteer Corps back to life. Boyle recalled that when the club first started, the members had no guidance or handbook on how to operate this nonprofit organization and how to do their jobs. Two years later and now as acting president of the club, Boyle claimed, “We have gotten to know what we are looking for and what our members are looking for. We are growing up as a club.” With a handful of new members for the new year, Boyle admitted it is going to be a building year for the club but with exciting projects ahead.

Volunteer Corps recognizes that the College of Charleston students and campus life is seamlessly fused with the city life of Charleston, therefore acting as part of an even greater community. The members of Volunteer Corps find it very important to integrate their passion for volunteer work into the city we all love. They engage in the community and participate in three different volunteer opportunities a month. The club mainly focuses on social issues, from working with the homeless, the hungry, displaced children and abandoned animals.

For example, Volunteer Corps has worked with a local organization known as The Green Heart Project, which allows volunteers to work with students and build urban gardens and teach about healthy lifestyles. Boyle expressed that the outcome of their volunteer work is always, “positive and fun.”  Now that Volunteer Corps has a dedicated member base and a few years of exposure under its belt, President Boyle was proud to say that the executive board coordinates with Charleston and is able to pick and choose certain events to volunteer for, a luxury they now have as a more established volunteer organization. Underdog who?

Volunteer Corps President, Katie Boyle (Photo courtesy of

Volunteer Corps President, Katie Boyle (Photo courtesy of Jenna Berinsky)

It is an exciting year ahead for Katie Boyle and the progressively popular Volunteer Corps Club. Boyle hopes to continue to increase the member base and also financial flexibility to go on more distant trips. What better way to make friends, do volunteer work and have fun? Building from the ground up, Volunteer Corps Club now works and stands out among many organizations in Charleston. If you are interested in joining you can look at the Volunteer Corps blog or attend one of the regular meetings at Stern Center Room 201 every Tuesday at 5:30p.m. to find out more information.

Check it out in time to join Volunteer Corps Club for upcoming events, like gardening and helping with the hungry. Also, enjoy kayaking at Shem Creek with new friends for the club’s fall retreat on Sept. 6. Don’t miss it! Truly, all you really need is the passion to make a difference in social issues and helping others to better and maintain our lovely city of Charleston, South Carolina.

 

 

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