Community service opportunities: September 2017

September 15, 2017

UNC Public Service Fair

Make use of your community service leave benefit by getting involved with local nonprofits. UNC permanent employees can use up to 24 hours of work time per calendar year to volunteer with a nonprofit organization. The 18th annual Public Service Fair is 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20 in the Pit. This is a great opportunity to connect with more than 20 local nonprofits and find ways to make a difference in our community. Click here to see the full flyer.

Hurricane Matthew update & Adopt-a-Home program briefing

Since December 2016, the Carolina Center for Public Service has partnered with the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church (NCCUMC) to support Hurricane Matthew disaster relief efforts in Princeville, Lumberton and Fayetteville, North Carolina. In June, NCCUMC launched its Adopt-a-Home program to help displaced families in Lumberton. Organizational partners are needed to help get families back into their homes by volunteering labor and providing donations to purchase furniture, appliances and home furnishings. Join NCCUMC, 9 – 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20 in the Frank Porter Graham Student Union, room 3503 for updates on Hurricane Matthew’s devastation, recovery efforts-to-date and details about the Adopt-a-Home program and the process for adopting a family. Register through UNC event registration.

Celebrate Carolina Cupboard’s Grand Reopening!

Carolina Cupboard, an on-campus food pantry, will celebrate the expansion of the pantry to a larger space with perishable food options. For more information, please visit or click here to see the full sized flyer.


Recycling Volunteers Needed for Fall Events

Orange County Solid Waste Management hosts recycling and waste diversion activities at most large special events in Orange County.  Recycling volunteers comb event grounds making sure recycling collection is maximized and moving smoothly. We work hard but we have fun, so share these opportunities with your friends and family!

Shifts vary, and often you get a meal and/or a t-shirt for your time! 16 or older unless with an adult, please. Contact Muriel Williman at or 919-918-4909 with your t-shirt size, shift request, and for details about the following events:

  • Carrboro Music Festival Saturday Sept. 23, 2-6PM, Town Hall Pavilion (only 2-3 slots needed).
    Sunday, Sept. 24, is the BIG DAY, shifts 1-4:30PM, and 4:30-8PM.  Music all over town, SUPER FUN. We need tons of help on Sunday.
  • Festifall the premier annual Art, Music and Culture Fest on Franklin St. in Chapel Hill
    Sunday, Oct. 1, shifts: 11AM-3PM and 3-7PM
  • YepRoc20 Hillsborough-based YepRoc Records celebrates 20 years in the business with a great musical line-up and beer at beautiful River Park.
    Saturday, Oct. 21, shifts 11AM-3PM, 3PM-7PM. Three slots available for each shift. Volunteers enjoy the jams while they collect the cans.

Carolina Disaster Relief Listserv/Websites

It is no surprise that the Carolina community is responding in important ways to the immediate needs for relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Harvey, and now Hurricane Irma. The recovery period for affected communities is long and will span years. In addition to donating money and volunteering with established groups working with affected communities, there will be additional ways to help in the coming weeks and months. Periodic updates will be shared through the Carolina Disaster Relief listserv. To join the listserv, send an email to If you are aware of disaster response or recovery efforts being coordinated on campus, or if you are organizing efforts to help, please send an email to

The websites  and are regularly updated and contain information about Carolina’s efforts and other information and resources.

Disaster Relief Trips

As we approach one year since Hurricane Matthew devastated eastern North Carolina and as we continue to see the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, please consider volunteering for relief efforts. The Carolina Center for Public Service is organizing campus-wide relief trips to continue the rebuilding process after Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, North Carolina. These trips are for UNC staff, faculty and students who are willing to help with clean-up or who have specialized building and repair skills. Trips are scheduled for Friday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Dec. 1. For details, FAQs and registration forms, visit UNC disaster relief trips.

Submit your story about Community Service Leave or other UNC Faculty/Staff Volunteer Experience

Have you utilized your community service leave? Have you or your department otherwise served the community or volunteered in other ways? Send a picture and a short blurb (300 words or less) about your experience and what you’ve gained from using your leave, and we’ll feature you here! Email submissions or questions to Katie Musgrove at



Employee Forum Community Service Committee


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Community service spotlight: Carla Rodriguez

February 24, 2017

Carla RodriguezPhoto courtesy of Carla Rodriguez

Carla Rodriguez, Coordinator in New Student & Carolina Parent Programs, shared her experience as a volunteer for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games:

“My volunteer position was a National Olympic Committee (NOC) Assistant to the delegation from Kosovo. We helped them with whatever they needed throughout the day such as setting up transportation, prepping for competitions, and lots of translating. We were with them in the Olympic Village as well as competition venues to support their delegation staff and athletes.  This was their first time at the Olympics and they won their first Gold Medal in Judo!

“One day a volunteer was explaining to a little girl on the bus what we were doing and used such simple words “we are here to help each other”. The little girl smiled and said “that’s wonderful!” It was a wonder to see people genuinely trying to help each other in whatever mix of languages and hand signals they knew. It was interpersonal communication at its finest.  I met people from all over the world and spoken some combination of every language I know (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian). I even met a Tar Heel on the train to the Olympic Park! Yes, the trips to and from work were long and my feet may have hurt but the experience of the exchange was a priceless gem.

“I was able to watch 5 spectacular young women win Gold in gymnastics live and there are not enough emojis out there to adequately express how it felt to be in that arena. One of my childhood dreams was fulfilled. While it was sad to say farewell to the NOC center and the Olympic Village, it was truly the opportunity of a lifetime to represent my country as a volunteer and apply my skills in such a global setting.

“I left Rio full of appreciation for the beauty of simple human interaction. It is so crucial to look up from our screens and have genuine conversations. There are stories to be told and heard. I want to be very clear that those weeks were not a vacation. They were time spent engaged in communities I care deeply about and want to give back to as much as possible. Whether it be by talking with children, dancing because it feels good, using a language you know well or only a little, it is a gift to be able to connect with people, no matter where they are from, what language they speak or how old they are. I encourage everyone to find things that take energy but fill you with purpose. Stop and lend a hand to someone. A small amount of attention and listening go a long way.”

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Community Service Leave Spotlight: Mary White

January 25, 2017

Mary White of the Health Sciences Library utilized Community Service Leave to volunteer with the Carolina Center for Public Service’s disaster recovery trip to Tarboro, NC on December 9, 2016. She has also worked in disaster response over the past 5 years with the North Carolina-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team and the Northeast North Carolina Medical Reserve Corps unit.

“As an undergrad at UNC-CH, I volunteered with the Town of Chapel Hill for Hurricane Floyd recovery efforts over 17 years ago, in Speed, NC, a little town in northeast North Carolina. After Hurricane Matthew hit, I saw the Carolina Center for Public Service trip to Tarboro and Princeville, NC, two towns near where I originally volunteered. I immediately signed up, and was delighted to join faculty, staff, and students to travel “out east”. My family is from northeast North Carolina, so it was quite meaningful to go there to help out.

mary white1

“We connected with the community through the local Methodist church, whose parent organization has a substantial disaster response unit, drawing volunteers from as far away as Canada. Our group worked at two houses. At one, we helped a gentleman move furniture from his house, so that he could repair and replace flooring and walls affected by the floods. At the neighboring house, we helped to move the contents of the house to the roadside, to be picked up later by trash haulers.

mary white 3

“During the trip, we were able to help out for a day in this flood ravaged area, but we were also able to learn about the history of the area, the impact that flooding had in the past, and the structural and social reasons why it happened again. We found out that these houses had been affected by Hurricane Floyd almost 2 decades ago, and again the owners were having to start over, gut, and rebuild their houses. It was sad to see people’s belongings having to be thrown away due to the flooding and mold, and a delicate thing to handle someone else’s memories.” -Mary White, Health Sciences Library

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Community Service Opportunities

December 13, 2016

The Jackson Center Seeks Food Pantry Volunteers During Winter Break

The Jackson Center is a nonprofit oral history and community development center located on Rosemary Street which works primarily in Northside and Pine Knolls, two of Chapel Hill’s historically black neighborhoods.

Heavenly Groceries/Comida Celestial, the food pantry that the Jackson Center partners with, is in desperate need of volunteer support during UNC’s winter break. Volunteers staff the following shifts every weekday: van driving (2:15p-3:45p), van unloading (2:30p-4:00p), and food distribution and cleanup (3:45p-5:15p).

If you are willing to volunteer for a day (or more!) over break or want more information, please contact William Page at or visit to create an account and sign up for volunteer shifts.


Hurricane Matthew Disaster Relief Trips

The Carolina Center for Public Service, together with the campus and community partners, is organizing campus-wide relief trips to areas affected by Hurricane Matthew. These trips are for UNC staff, faculty and students who are willing to help with clean-up or who have specialized building and repair skills. If you would like to receive updates on future relief trips, email


Funding available to support campus disaster relief efforts

Funding is available to support campus relief efforts as donations to Carolina’s Disaster Relief Fund are received. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students, faculty and staff from any campus unit or organization may submit a letter of request for funding to support relief trips and projects. The application letter should be sent as an email attachment to and should include:

  • a description of the effort,
  • what organization(s) or constituents will participate,
  • which community(ies) will be served,
  • overall budget information,
  • the amount of funding requested and
  • contact information (email and phone number).


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Community Service Leave spotlight: Frances Dancy Burton

December 13, 2016

Frances Dancy Burton of the Carolina Population Center utilized Community Service Leave to volunteer at the Durham Homeless Shelter in early December 2016. She has been volunteering each quarter over the last twenty years with her choir.

“We always purchase and prepare a home cooked meal and serve anywhere from 200 to 350 or more meals each time we go.  Our choir funds this project ourselves as part of our mission service.  Earlier before learning about the Community Service leave, I used at least 2 hours vacation time to leave early to prepare these meals.  The Community Service leave has been very helpful to me to use for this purpose.  It gives me so much pleasure to serve and see the smiles on the faces of those that are being served.  The need has grown so much over the years and no longer do I see mostly men as I did early on, but now there are just as many families as well as single women and children.  There are many hungry people out there!”

Photos courtesy of Frances Dancy Burton

Frances Burton on the left in the maroon sweater
Frances Dancy Burton (maroon sweater), a UNC Staff member for the Carolina Population Center, mixing a salad to serve with the meal prepared for the Durham Homeless Shelter on Friday, December 9, 2016.


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Get involved with the Community Service Committee

July 25, 2016

The Employee Forum has created a new committee, the Community Service Committee, to help promote UNC staff community service efforts.  This committee, in coordination with members of Carolina Center for Public Service, Carolina Union Activities Board, and other campus organizations, will host various community service events throughout the year, similar in nature to the annual Carolina Blood Drive that is currently hosted by the Employee Forum each year. The committee will also advertise various other ways in which UNC Employees can participate in community service throughout Chapel Hill and the wider North Carolina community and use their community service leave.

In creating this new committee, we at the Employee Forum strive to fulfill the University’s Mission to “serve North Carolina, the United States, and the world through teaching, research, and public service” and also to “improve society and to help solve the world’s greatest problems.” This committee will help to ensure that we as employees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seek to foster an active and engaged commitment to our University and our wider community.

The more people we have helping us, the better we can do in establishing the UNC Faculty/Staff Community Service Initiative and hosting various community service opportunities through the Employee Forum! Please keep in mind that you do not have to be on the Employee Forum to serve on a committee! Even if you are just interested in helping out at the various events we plan throughout the year, that is also much appreciated. Every little bit helps.

If you are interested in signing up for the committee listserv or helping us out in any way, please email the Chair, Katie Musgrove at

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Career Corner: Work/life balance with Community Service Leave

May 29, 2016

Forum delegate Ronda Manuel recently went with her daughter’s entire second grade class to the North Carolina Zoo–and got paid by UNC to do it!

Manuel was able to spend this important (and fun!) time with her daughter by using the Community Service Leave (CSL) benefit. Community Service Leave “is a paid time off program to participate in the educational process of children through the high school level and to support other community service volunteer activities for non-profit organizations.” Because the “University recognizes the importance of community involvement and encourages employees to participate in volunteer activities,” CSL “provid[es] flexibility in work schedules and paid leave opportunities,” enabling employees to take time during normal work hours to contribute to educational institutions and give back to their communities.

Working with her supervisor, Manuel scheduled her CSL to accommodate her job responsibilities. She said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to use to serve as a chaperone for my daughter’s field trip to the NC Zoo. Not only did I get the chance to give back to my daughter’s school, but I also made lasting memories with my child and her classmates.” In this instance, CSL allowed Manuel to balance her family commitments while also supporting UNC’s mission of public service.

Brandy Flickinger, leave administration manager in the Office of Human Resources, presented information about CSL at the May 4 Employee Forum meeting. CSL comes in three options. Option A, which Manuel used, grants employees up to 24 hours of paid leave in one calendar year to take part in their child’s education (e.g., meet with a teacher or attend a school-sponsored event—not including athletics) or to volunteer with a recognized community service organization. Option B allows eligible employees up to 36 hours of paid leave per calendar year (1 hour/week while school is in session) to volunteer as a mentor or tutor with a formal, standardized program. Option C grants employees up to 45 hours of paid leave per calendar year to volunteer in a literacy program through a public school. There are additional types of community service leave such as Disaster Recovery and Emergency Services and Organ Donorship leave that may allow for more hours of paid leave under certain conditions. If you are interested in taking CSL, you should discuss the options with your supervisor.

Flickinger’s presentation included five frequently asked questions about CSL, which she’s shared here:

Q: Can I use CSL for volunteer service outside of NC?
A: No, service must be provided within the state of North Carolina and must benefit the citizens of North Carolina. Employees can use approved vacation leave. The exception is for Disaster Recovery and Emergency Services [], but there are very specific conditions for eligibility.

Q: Can I use CSL for on-site visits to colleges with my child?
A: No. The “child involvement” provision of the policy is limited to child day care, elementary school, middle school or high school involvement. A parent cannot, for example, use community service leave for on-site visits to colleges for the purpose of selecting a college, or to attend college orientations or assist with moving the child in and out of the on-campus housing, or for attendance at college graduations.

Q: Is service for a fundraising event eligible for CSL?
A: It depends. Playing in a golf tournament, such as the UNC Staff Assembly Chancellor’s Cup Golf Tournament [] which raises money for the Janet B. Royster Memorial Staff Scholarship Fund, would not be eligible for CSL. However, setting up tents, handling parking and registration, or serving at the food tent at the fundraising golf event would be considered a volunteer activity and would be eligible for CSL.

Q: Can I use CSL to vote?
A: No. Employees may not use work time for voting. Bbecause polls are open for 12 hours or more on Election Day, employees are to vote on their own time either before or after their regular work schedule. Management does have discretion to allow flexible work scheduling to accommodate voting employees or to allow the employee to use vacation leave, bonus leave or other accrued paid time off for the absence.

Q: Must I use CSL to participate in UNC’s campus blood drive?
A: No! As an exception to the CSL policy, participating in the semiannual University-wide blood drives as either a donor or volunteer counts as work time for both permanent and temporary employees. (Participation does require prior approval, though.) Donating or volunteering other times, whether during another on-campus blood drive or at a Red Cross Center, is eligible for CSL (again, with prior approval by your supervisor).

Using CSL is a great way to balance your work responsibilities and your other interests and commitments. It gives you a way to contribute to your child’s education or to participate in other volunteer activities that are important to you. Do you volunteer at a (recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit) animal shelter or coach your child’s robotics team? Would you like to take part in a Habitat for Humanity build day? Participating in the bi-annual Carolina Blood Drives counts as regular work time, but giving blood or volunteering to help with other blood drives, on or off campus, are both are eligible for CSL hours!

For questions about what can count for CSL, contact the Leave Administration team ( 919.843.2300).

Story contributed by Kelli Raker and Clare Counihan. Photograph courtesy of Ronda Manuel.

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