MIT's Public Service Center (PSC) has changed its headquarters but not its programs as the new term's volunteer opportunities get under way.
The PSC moved late last fall into the Student Center (Rm W20-311, behind the 24-Hour Coffeehouse) to make room for the new Student Services Center in Rm 3-123. To help reacquaint students, faculty and staff with the Center's services in bringing together volunteers and community agencies, there will be a volunteer fair on Tuesday, Jan. 28 in Lobby 13 from 3:30-5pm. Representatives of organizations including Cambridge School Volunteers, Friends of the Elderly, the Environmental League, Little Brothers and CASPAR will be on hand to answer questions. The event is co-sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta, an organization of African-American students from MIT, Harvard and Tufts.
Even as the PSC was moving to its roomier quarters, it co-sponsored (with the Panhellenic Association) a record-breaking Giving Tree drive over the holidays. The effort collected more than 1,200 donated new toys and distributed them to needy children in Cambridge and Boston. Organizers were Michelle Berris and Rhonda Patton, both sophomores in mechanical engineering.
The students involved with the Giving Tree "did a really top-notch job meeting and exceeding the many requests," said Paul Parravano, assistant for community relations in the President's Office. "I'm just amazed at how well organized it was and how many gifts they collected."
Other ongoing activities the PSC oversees include SCORE (Service in the Community Oriented toward Relations Enhancement), an annual program started at MIT in May 1995 which has just been adopted as an annual event by the Order of Omega, a national service fraternity. There is also KEYs (Keys to Empowering Youth), which mentors girls interested in science and engineering; the Science Expo, in which children in grades 5-8 will exhibit projects and tour labs at MIT on April 30; the PSC Fellowship Program, which has placed 20 MIT students in paid positions in local elementary schools this IAP; and LINKS, which brings MIT students to Cambridge elementary schools to help with science education.
The PSC also offers information, start-up money and advice on future fundraising for many other community service projects, noted Emily Sandberg, director of the Center. "I want to encourage students to come by with their ideas. We're always here to coach and advise students on individual projects, and we want to be a resource for all the community service chairs in independent living groups," she said.
For more information about PSC activities, see the Center's updated Web page at <http://web.mit.edu/pscenter/www/psc.html>.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 15, 1997.