At Rider, volunteer community service is defined as work performed by a person or group of people that benefits others. The service provided should meet a specific and identified need in the community through a connection with a non-profit or other community-based organization. You should be able to articulate the need being addressed and the people/organization that benefit from your service. Performing volunteer service means that you donate your time and talents. You do not get paid to perform volunteer service, although sometimes food or small gifts, like a t-shirt, are given to volunteers.
There are many opportunities on campus and off where you can provide a few hours of service at a time, and you can accrue these hours to reach 20 or more to earn Engaged Learning points. See "Examples of Acceptable Volunteer Service" below for ideas.
You will need to keep track of the hours of service you perform. The information you need to track includes the following:
- Name of the organization you volunteered with
- Name, phone number and email address of the person who supervised your work
- Number of hours you volunteered
- A brief summary of what volunteer work you performed
The information above will be transferred into an experience form in BroncNation when you have reached at least 20 hours of service or more.
The minimum number of hours needed to earn 1 point is 20. Volunteer community service earns points based upon the following scale:
- 1 point - 20 to 49 hours
- 2 points - 50 to 99 hours
- 3 points – 100 or more hours
Whether you have performed volunteer service with one organization or many, on campus or off, you will use the same experience form. To record the hours you volunteered, log in to BroncNation. Click on your initial or photo at the top right to open the right-side menu. Select Experiences.
Click ADD EXPERIENCE to open a new window that lists all of the experience forms. Scroll down until you find CCE: Volunteer Service On or Off Campus. Click on the title to open the form.
Complete all of the form fields. There are prompts near each field to direct you to enter the information you tracked, as detailed above under Track My Service Hours. If you do not provide all of the information indicated in the prompts your experience form will be denied and you will be asked to resubmit it including the missing information.
Note: In-person group reflection sessions are no longer required. In the experience form their is a field where you will be required to write a reflection about the service experience. You must respond to the questions shown in the prompt in order for your service to be approved.
Below is a list of service opportunities that exist on campus or in the surrounding Lawrenceville area. Note, not all organizations are able to accept volunteers all the time. Contact the organization for information.
- Preparing meals for homebound citizens through Meals on Wheels. Meal prep takes place in the Daly kitchen on campus. Look for an email sent each month to sign up or go to https://www.mealsonwheelsmercer.org/.
- Participation in the Friendly Visitor’s Program, a companion program with Meals on Wheels, where you provide a meaningful friendship to a homebound citizen in Mercer County.
- Serving meals to homeless patrons at Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) or Loaves & Fishes food pantries throughout the area.
- Cleaning up trash at the Jersey shore through University-sponsored beach sweeps with Clean Ocean Action. See The Campus Green newsletter for info on the next sweep and more.
- Assisting with a holiday party for local children from the Boys & Girls Club, organized by the Office of Service & Civic Engagement.
- Volunteering with seniors at Morris Hall, a local nursing home.
- Tutoring a child in mathematics at the Lawrence Community Center.
- Walking dogs for an animal shelter like EASEL.
- Coaching a 12-years and under girl’s soccer team for the Lawrence Hamnett Soccer Association.
- Serve as a firefighter or EMT for your local community or the Lawrenceville community.
- Assisting with services at your local place of worship.
- Mentoring an at-risk child through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Mercer County.
- Providing a needed service for WomenSpace.
- Become an End Hunger Advocate, working with local organizations to address issues of hunger and food insecurity in our community.
- Working on a committee for Rider University’s Relay for Life.
- Working for the Rider University Resource Pantry.
- Assisting with Freshman Move-In as a Bronc Buddy.
- Tabling to fundraise, educate, or advocate for Alzheimer’s Association or another specific non-profit/charity organization.
- Supporting athletes who are training for participating in Special Olympics.
- Stocking the food pantry and distributing food with Arm in Arm, Trenton, NJ.
In addition to the worthy organizations above, you may volunteer in your local community anytime, or during the summer and breaks. If in doubt about whether an organization or volunteer action you want to participate in is truly volunteer service, please see "What is Volunteer Community Service" above.
- Service hours must be performed while you are an active, currently enrolled student in your first term or later. Hours served before your first term or while you do not have Active status are not eligible to earn points.
- You must perform at least 20 hours of service and submit the hours in the experience form in BroncNation for approval in order to earn service points.
- Record volunteer hours as you complete them so you don't lose track.
- Service hours can be accumulated over different semesters or academic years until you reach 20 hours, enough to earn one point.
- Community Service performed for multiple organizations can be combined to reach 20+ hours. Be sure to list all of the organizations you volunteered with in the experience form.
- Do not wait until the end of a semester to submit an experience form for your service. Rider staff need time to review and approve them before the points are earned.
- Hours submitted in BroncNation that do not fit the guidelines of Volunteer Community Service above will be denied.
- Seniors: complete your Engaged Learning requirement before your last semester whenever possible. Complete the experience form prior to your final semester at Rider to ensure a seamless graduation.