Members of the University of Michigan-Flint’s Social Work Club take pride in their academic accomplishments, but stepping off campus to help with a community project is what they love to do best.
Club members have worked to support Flint neighborhoods and families by volunteering at the annual Soup Per Bowl event, helping at the North End Soup Kitchen, organizing a veterans appreciation dinner, and sponsoring a team in a bowling fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. The club sometimes partners with other student clubs to accomplish more.
“As a social worker, you go in knowing you don’t have all the answers, so you try to collaborate,” said Charles Banks, Club President who is also a Flint native and is completing his internship at Hurley Hospital ER.
With about 40 student members and its numbers increasing with more first and second-year students, the club is a great source of support for its members. Students can unwind, socialize, and discuss ways to impact their community through volunteer work and internship opportunities.
“Our schedules are packed,” Charles said. “We need that support to be there for each other and know we’re all going through the same things.”
The club is always open to new volunteer opportunities and different ways to impact the Flint community. Members are encouraged to bring their ideas to club meetings – and new faces are always welcome, even those students not enrolled in a social work program.
“It’s in our bylaws that the Social Work Club is open to any major,” Charles said. “It’s a good outlet for someone from another discipline to get out in the community and volunteer.”
Club members regularly volunteer at Flint’s North End Soup Kitchen by preparing food and cooking and serving meals as well as assisting with marketing activities to help bring in donations.
John Manse, Community Service Director for Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties, said the soup kitchen relies on a number of volunteer groups, donors, and fundraisers to be able to buy goods from the Food Bank, prepare it, and serve two meals a day, seven days a week.
“The social work students are very enthusiastic and have a lot of good ideas,” Manse said. “They’re very engaged with civic community service.”
If you are interested in joining UM-Flint’s Social Work Club, please contact the Social Work Department.