Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Volunteering at the Caring Place Clinic

Working at the Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley (NHCLV), the clinics at Casa Guadalupe and the Caring Place,  is one of the highlights of my time at Muhlenberg. I love going there every week. I am always amazed by how much the staff there cares for each other and the patients. They really see themselves as people building community and fighting for social justice in the Lehigh Valley. I do feel that what we do helps to create community and bring services to people who cannot otherwise get access. Most of our patients are uninsured or under-insured. Many of them are immigrants and do not speak very much English. I started in the clinics because I speak both Spanish and English. It has been so helpful for me to practice the language and so great for them that I can work with Spanish-speaking patients. 
When I go to the clinic I assist both the medical and the clerical staff. To help the medical staff, I take patients to the exam rooms and take their vital signs (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.). I also make sure to get a brief medical history from each person. As my Spanish has improved, I also interpret between doctors and patients. Sometimes I even shadow the nurses and doctors. It is amazing to see them work. I usually spend time each day working with the clerical staff as well, especially calling patients to remind them of upcoming appointments. Sometimes I call other service providers in the Lehigh Valley to help our patients get the resources they need, especially if there is a language barrier. It is amazing to see how important even the few hours a week I spend at the clinics are for the staff. They love all of the volunteers and see them as an integral part of their team. It is a wonderful community to be a part of!
- Rachel Kitch, '11

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Allentown Tree Lighting Ceremony VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Allentown Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 2nd, 2010
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm


1. Organize a fun activity (for example, macaroni bracelets!)
2. Volunteer to help out with an activity

To volunteer: Please email Eveily Freeman -

Monday, November 1, 2010

Become a PEN PAL and a MENTOR!


Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley provides after school tutor/mentor programs called HOPE (Helping Out People Everywhere) to students in each middle school as well as both high schools in Allentown. Along with receiving academic assistance, there is a community service component, where the students have to complete a small project each month that will positively impact their school or community.

Communities In Schools are very proud that most sites in Allentown have a higher education partner, so their students receive exposure to the college campuses, as well as guidance from college students.

This year, Communities in Schools would like begin a pen pal project between Muhlenberg students and HOPE students. The purpose of this element will be to:

Have students practice writing and sentence structure
Reconnect students with the art of writing
Teach students the importance of proper writing skills
Provide students with the necessary tools to express themselves appropriately through  writing composition
Connect HOPE students with a college student

To learn more about becoming a HOPE pen pal or volunteering to be a mentor:

 Contact Beth Halpen - 
Stop by the Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement to hear more about it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Anti-Bullying Day at Jefferson Elementary

On Tuesday November 9th, 2010 Muhlenberg students can participate in Anti-Bullying Day at Jefferson Elementary School. Students will go to the school and join students for lunch, snacking and eating, and simply hanging out and having a good time! Each year on this day, Jefferson sees a dramatic decline in bullying due to Muhlenberg students' presence.

Students can go in one of 2 shifts:

10:45am - 12:30pm (12 people)
12:15pm - 1:25pm (12 people)

Transportation is provided! Space is limited! SIGN UP NOW!

“Annual Hunger and Homelessness Events Kick Off”

A local hero is coming to Muhlenberg on Tuesday, November 2nd and it is an event that you do not want to miss!  Russell “Rooster” Valentini is the Homeless Education Liaison for the Allentown School District and has been working with homeless children in the area for over 20 years.  He has made it his personal mission to ensure that children experiencing homelessness can still attend school and get an education equal to their peers with permanent housing.  He is a talented speaker and will be sharing his experiences with the Muhlenberg community, including the poetry he writes about the children he meets.  Rooster was the recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY.)  In his nomination letter for this award he was described as having “an uncanny knack of being able to counter resistance and prejudice with the right blend of referring to the law, using common sense, evoking compassion, and insisting on doing the right thing for students.”  This past Sunday the 24th, you may have seen a cart being wheeled around freshman and sophomore dorms with people selling bagels and hot beverages…the money made from this fundraiser will be used to buy toiletry items for Rooster to give to the children he works with. 

Rooster will be at Muhlenberg on Tuesday, November 2nd in the Seegers Union Event Space at 7:00 pm. The event is sponsored by Students Have A Real Effect (SHARE) and there is a suggested donation of a toiletry product which will be given to Rooster for the children he works with.
See you on the 2nd!

- Meghan Butler, Class of 2012

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Resource Center Library! Come Check It Out!

The resource center library is located in the Student and Volunteer workspace in the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement. The library has a lot of great books, DVDs and VHS' from a variety of different topics.

Age groups who could take out materials from the library vary from Pre-K students to items geared toward adults. There are books such as "Los Tres Cerditos; The Three Little Pigs," a bilingual childrens book, and there are movies such as "The Pursuit of Happiness;" a movie about a man and his struggles with homelessness.  There are workbooks for children, and informative books for teens and adults.  Any age group would benefit from checking out the wonderful items in this library!

For more information, stop on down in the Office of Community Engagement and find out how you can contribute or take out a book or movie!

New Program Initiative!

The office is starting a new civic engagement program with the pediatric department at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown. The program will consist of storytelling to children ages 2-8, as well as, a teenage component that will vary when volunteers go to the site . The visits will be bi-weekly.  The Office is looking for 2-3 volunteers who are passionate about kids and/or reading with them. This semester, the program is planned for every other Wednesday from 5:00- 6:30PM. For more information or to take part in the program, please email Emily Hirsch at to get involved!

A little background on Good Shepherd’s Pediatrics Program:
The program offers the most current therapeutic approaches and state-of-the-art technologies to help children with physical disabilities or injuries live their lives to the fullest. Developmental disabilities served by Good Shepherd’s Pediatrics Program include ADHD, autism, brachial plexus, central auditory processing problems, cerebral palsy, chromosomal abnormalities, developmental coordination disorder, developmental delays, feeding and swallowing disorders, fetal alcohol syndrome, fragile x syndrome, genetic disorders, hearing impairments, juvenile rheumatood arthitis, learning difficulties, motor coordination problems/dyspraxia, muscular dystrophy, pervasive developmental disorder, pronunciation disorders, sensory integration dysfunction, speech/language impairments, spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy, toe walking, and torticollis.