Category: Service Work

Service to the Community

Service to the Community


To some, community service may be something not done very often; to others, it has become a big part of their life to help others.  For me, I love to volunteer my time at my local hospital, Swedish Covenant. Since freshman year of high school, I have dedicated my summer, days off of school (full and half-days), and weekends towards volunteering here. I suppose the motivation that keeps me volunteering is the idea (or dream) of being a doctor; I love to help others feel better and become stronger and healthier. This semester, I have scheduled to volunteer more frequently to show others and the hospital my true commitment and passion towards service by volunteering every other Friday at nighttime.

At the hospital, I work at a patient care unit (post surgery). My work is scattered- I answer call lights, I can organize charts, resupply inventory, help do sponge baths, feed patients, walk patients, help discharge, and so much more. The people I am with, most of the time, are CNAs and nurses because they have the most contact with the patient.

Working at a hospital is truly a blessing. I am always on my feet doing work and I always get to meet the people and (if I am lucky) talk and hear their stories on their family, jobs, dreams, and tragedies. With that being said, I sometimes build connections with people and surprisingly, I meet them outside of the hospital months later and get to check up with them on how they are doing.

All in all, I love what I do and I hope to continue to aspire to become a doctor for the given reasons (from volunteering).

Felines and Canines Animal Shelter

Felines and Canines Animal Shelter


Meet Kevin, a one-year-old gray tabby from Felines and Canines Animal Shelter, located a few blocks away from campus on Clark and Devon.  When my friend Jen and I first visited Felines and Canines Animal Shelter, he left his lookout spot in a sunny window and approached us cautiously.  After a while, he was extremely friendly and comfortable with the other visitors and me.

Kevin, like the several other dogs and kittens living in the shelter, were rescued from abusive homes.  What I didn’t know about Kevin is that he has impaired hearing from violence in his previous home.  This picture doesn’t show it, but he has small scar on his left ear and is extremely skittish around other cats and visitors.  Since his arrival at the shelter, Kevin still shows signs of anxiety around people and other cats.  On the bright side, however, a loving family is looking to adopt him and take care of him.

In the interim, however, Felines and Canines provide refuge for all animals waiting for an adoptive home.  Every day, the staff and volunteers at Felines and Canines work with each individual animal to ensure they are safe and healthy, providing walks and play time three times a day.  The animals are well-fed and the staff knows each animal’s name.  It is comforting to know that there are so many giving people who contribute to such a loving cause.

Yet with so many tasks and responsibilities with providing for these animals, help is always welcome from anyone and everyone.  With almost fifty abused cats and dogs seeking adoption, Felines and Canines Animal Shelter is always reaching out to the community for volunteers and potential adoptive families.  If you love animals, are looking for a service opportunity, and want to contribute to the amazing organization that is Felines and Canines, or if your apartment complex allows for pets, and you are looking to adopt an adorable cat or dog, call 773-465-4132 and schedule a visit!

Without A Home – Street Dogs of Santiago, Chile – Joey Filer

Without A Home – Street Dogs of Santiago, Chile – Joey Filer

Hey Ramblers!

Check out this documentary I made for my summer class COMM 373: Digital Storytelling Abroad in Santiago, Chile.  CAUTION: Some of the images in the video may be disturbing to some viewers.

It’s about the wild dog problem (there are over 250,000 street dog’s in the nation’s capital alone).  It was an unbelievable journey in so many ways, and if you can imagine – the emotions involving the thousands of homeless dogs I encountered was just one of the many life changing aspects.

Link to Without A Home: Street Dogs of Santiago, Chile – Joey Filer

-Joey from Ramblin’ with a Camera


UNICEF of Loyola

UNICEF of Loyola

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is a shameless promotion of a truly amazing on-campus organization in which I happened to be a member.

The Organization Fair is quickly approaching, and many undergraduates at Loyola are looking for new opportunities and activities.  Whether a student is looking for something he or she truly believes in, or simply looking for a way to fill some free time, there is certainly a group for everyone.

This year, I am a member of the Executive Board for UNICEF of Loyola.  Our first semester was a smashing success, and we’re looking for new members to join our group and keep the momentum going.  UNICEF is a leading global non-profit that works to end preventable child deaths across the globe.  Our club raises money and awareness for this cause.

So if you’re looking for a new organization to join, and you’re interested in social justice, stop by and check out UNICEF’s table at the Org Fair.  I promise you will not be sorry!



One of my favorite things about attending a Jesuit institution is it’s important value, “service to others.”  It seems like there are infinite volunteer opportunities at Loyola, whether they be posted online or posted on bulletin boards throughout the many buildings.  Volunteering has always been a huge part of my life, so I was excited Loyola had so many great opportunities.

One of the first organizations I became involved in at Loyola was Loyola4Chicago.  Loyola4Chicago is a program that recruits students to perform weekly volunteer services at a number of different sites.  These sites include Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteering at homeless shelters, and volunteering at a home for people with developmental disabilities, to name a few.  My freshman year, I volunteered at a school that had an afterschool program called Teen REACH.  I offered homework help as well as assisted in different life skills enrichment activities.  My sophomore year I volunteered at Misericoridia, which is a home for people with developmental disabilities.  I would hang out with the residents and help them to knit or work on different art projects.  Both experiences were incredibly rewarding, and I am grateful that I was able to help those in need.

There are numerous other volunteer opportunities available through Loyola.  One way to find out about these opportunities is to search on RamblerLink; RamblerLink is Loyola’s online job, internship, and volunteer database.   Another way is to navigate through Loyola’s Center for Service and Action website. This website lists ongoing volunteer projects as well as one time volunteer projects.  The opportunities to volunteer in the city of Chicago are endless, whether it be volunteering at an animal shelter, volunteering with kids, or volunteering with people with developmental disabilities.  I am so thankful I attend an organization that values service as much as I do!

Can You Jig It?

Can You Jig It?


This Year’s LBDC Champs!

In light of the recent typhoon in the Philippines, UNICEF of Loyola decided to donate the proceeds of Loyola’s Best Dance Crew to crisis relief.  The storm was considered one of the strongest on record, leaving a massive path of destruction in its wake and an estimated 10,000 deaths.  UNICEF is working globally to provide immediate relief to those affected.

Our chapter at Loyola quickly agreed that our event should benefit these victims.  The event was a smashing success, and we managed to raise almost $800 towards the cause.

I am humbled by the continued support of the Loyola community, and thankful to all those involved in making this event so amazing.  A special congrats to the first place winners – Loyola’s IRISH DANCE!  Their Irish jig was more than deserving of first place.

Keep a look out for more UNICEF events on campus!  You won’t be sorry!

Loyola’s Best Dance Crew

Loyola’s Best Dance Crew

The time has come.  The battle will soon begin.  Who has the moves to win?  You be the judge.

UNICEF of Loyola will be hosting the second annual Loyola’s Best Dance Crew on November 12!  The event invites dance groups on campus to bring their best moves to compete for the title.  The $5.00 admission gets you a ticket that can be used to vote for your favorite crew.  The winning group will receive a trophy and eternal bragging rights.

All proceeds will benefit the United States fund for UNICEF.  This is a leading global non-profit that works to end preventable child deaths around the world.  UNICEF specifically targets things like clean water, sanitation, vaccinations, maternal care, and education.  Our chapter raises money and awareness for this cause.

So with a great event and an even greater cause, how can you say no?  Be sure to check it out!

Christmas on Campus

Christmas on Campus


For those of you who haven’t heard, Christmas on Campus is back for another year at Loyola.  It is an annual campus-wide Christmas event that aims to serve the children in the Chicago area.  Clubs and organizations volunteer to sponsor activity tables in Gentile Area, while individual Loyola volunteers pair up with a child and take them around.  The kids can enjoy all kinds of crafts and games like cookie decorating, letters to Santa, basketball with the Loyola players, and sitting on Santa’s lap.

The event is super fun and a great way to get involved.  The event organizers are currently looking for organizations and individual volunteers to help out.  The event will take place on November 24 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Visit the Facebook page to see how to sign up!

Chicago Hopes

Chicago Hopes

From my new friend Alexis

One of my favorite parts about Loyola is the number of opportunities for service that are presented to the students.  Being a service-oriented person, I have always been drawn to that aspect of my school.

When I was a freshman, I signed up for an organization called Loyola 4 Chicago.  What I didn’t know then was how involved I would soon become.  Loyola 4 Chicago (or L4C) is a service-based group that runs through the Center for Community Service and Action.  Students sign up for a semester-long commitment, and L4C sends them to various volunteer sites throughout the Chicago area.

I have volunteered as a tutor in three different locations since I joined L4C.  But my experience this year is unlike anything I’ve ever done before.  Currently, I’m volunteering as a tutor at Chicago Hopes, a non-profit organization that aims to serve the homeless children in Chicago.  Unfortunately, the average age of a homeless person in Chicago is 9. Consequently, the people at Chicago Hopes have their work cut out for them.

Chicago Hopes works in various homeless shelters throughout Chicago, though I have been working for one in Uptown called Cornerstone Community Outreach.  Located just off the Wilson Red Line, Cornerstone shelters homeless men, women, and children.  Chicago Hopes comes in every day to offer an after school program for the children staying in the shelter.

I have been working with a second grader named Alexis.  She may be small, but the girl is bursting with personality!  I usually have to remind her to start on her homework, because I think she would be perfectly content to just sit and chat for our entire two hour session.  Even though we’ve only worked together a few times, she is already talking to me like we’re old friends.

Chicago Hopes has been my first volunteer experience with the homeless, and easily the most rewarding.  I am humbled by the life and spirit that I’ve seen in these kids.  Without the stability of a physical home, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to focus on an education.  Yet the children of Chicago Hopes show up everyday ready to work.

And the motivation in the students is a clear reflection of the Chicago Hopes staff.  The entire organization is run by volunteers who have a vested interest in the lives of these children.  It is through their hard work and dedication that the organization continues to grow.

I would encourage anyone looking for service opportunities to take a look at Chicago Hopes.  Its name truly does it justice.

The Third Week Of Classes

The Third Week Of Classes

Somehow time has once again fooled me into believing that I had more time than I thought. I can not believe that it is already the third week of classes!

If you ask me, it still feels like the first week, or the infamous “syllabus week”.

This is a wonderful week during which professors spend class time going over the class rules and expectations and there is little to no work involved. So you can imagine the bitter surprise when I looked in my to-do notebook and realized that yes, in fact this is the third week and things are really starting to pick up!

The first items on my agenda that I noticed were my extracurricular activities that begin this week. I’ve been enjoying my semester with classes that get done between 12:00 and 2:00, which means that I have the rest of the day for myself. But this time of extra sleep, extra workouts, extra reading is slowly coming to an end. I will now babysit until 6:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a family of three children, the same family that I babysat for last year. Loyola’s chapter of UNICEF is starting up its weekly meetings from 7:00-8:00 on Tuesdays. And finally my Wednesdays are taken up by tutoring at Jordan Elementary through L4C for a couple hours right after class.

While all of these commitments may mean that I will get less sleep and feel a little more stressed, I enjoy doing them and always manage to adjust to the busy schedule so that i survive. Plus, being involved in campus organizations is usually really fun and a great way to constantly meet new people.