The AUR Volunteer Club’s mission is to bring about positive change in the local and global communities. Since its inception in Fall 2014, the Club has explored many different options for its members and has dedicated its efforts towards Associazione KIM Onlus, Joel Nafuma Refugee Center, and Retake Monteverde Vecchio as well as a blood drive and a San Eugidio Feed the Homeless program. The Club has worked first hand with its associations, attended and supported important fundraising events, held clothing and food drives as well as its traditional bake sales, and hosted events such as film showings and anniversary celebrations. Casa Scalabrini 634 has visited campus several times with their special interactive “Dialoghi” series discussing migration, integration, and common ground. AUR campus has also benefited from member efforts, for example, via its Retake AUR clean-up and recycling campaign, and its reciprocal work with the AUR Diversity Club. It has also supported other efforts dear to the larger AUR community such as, Aura’s House, ACL Onlus, Amici di Villa Sciarra, Tiburtina Tuesdays, Libero Nantes, AMREF, Spazio Asperger, Caritas (Trastevere), Komen Italia and the USO.
What can you do with the non-profit agencies we work with?
Well, as is the bottom line with most non-profits, what they need most is funding, so if you’d like to donate, please do, they are very worthy causes and do need your very valuable support! We’d be especially grateful if you could contribute to the AUR Volunteer Club’s first ever crowdfunding campaign at https://www.youcaring.com/WeeLittleRichie, to collect funds for corrective surgery needed by Richie Dodiko (3) of Burundi, and who has a birth defect affecting his penis. Another possibility is holding a pre-departure collection drive of travel size personal hygiene products (shampoo, soap, shaving cream, tooth paste, razors and toothbrushes) on behalf of the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center at Saint Paul’s within the Walls. These products will be given to refugees who are here temporarily and will move on from Rome to other parts of Italy and Europe.
But in terms of working with AUR’s volunteer partners directly, most have very limited resources to vet and train volunteers who will then hopefully stay with them for a reasonable length of time, regardless of the language abilities. Associations that work with children or other vulnerable populations need to be especially careful when bringing new people into their communities; we ourselves have seen the communities we now work with very carefully take their time in getting to know AUR and our Volunteer Club.
Can AUR arrange volunteer work for your group visiting Italy?
Unfortunately, no, but you can definitely contact two of the amazing groups we work this to see how their needs might best match up with your abilities and time frame: Tiburtina Tuesdays and Retake Roma . Both organizations have English speaking founders and volunteers, and are currently set up in such a way that they can often take advantage of one-time volunteers. Please contact these organizations directly should you wish to incorporate service learning or volunteerism into your group trip to Rome.
Can AUR raise funds or send volunteers to help with your own very worthy nonprofit?
Unfortunately, not likely. We would love to help everyone but we are a group of students with our own limited resources and time, and who volunteer between serious studies and jobs. While we try to do as much as we can for the organizations we’ve found that fit the Club’s interests and goals, the only way we can do a decent job is if we try not to be all things to all people. You could, however, create your own fund raising page at sites like justgiving.com (UK) and firstgiving.com (USA), or invite AUR to events you’ve organized in Rome and set up on Facebook.