Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) is a program at St. Michael’s that helps with the communities in and around campus and in other parts of the United States. There are opportunities to help young kids and opportunities to travel to provide services to communities. MOVE was designed for students to work together and volunteer with the communities around them.
“We have 19 programs including formal youth mentoring,” said Ryan Hay, associate director of MOVE. The programs are designed for the students to be the key roles in these events. “All of our programs are student-led with assistance from staff advisors,” Hay said.
Lauren Best ’24 is a student who has taken advantage of all that MOVE has to offer. “I started to get involved with MOVE in the fall of my freshman year because I applied to be a middle school mentor,” said Best. The mentor program works with the Winooski School District and Members of MOVE pick up the girls from school and bring them to St. Michael’s for activities and dinner in Alliot dining hall. “As an education major I sincerely appreciate these opportunities provided by the mentoring program,” Best said. “I get to work with kids and have more experience with them and learn more from today’s youth.”
In November, MOVE participated in Hunger and Homelessness Week on campus. “A bunch of our programs that work with populations plan advocacy events during the national Hunger and Homelessness week which was the week before Thanksgiving,” Hay said. Throughout the week, the Civil Rights Alliance program was tabling in Alliot with a quiz relating to hunger and homeless facts. “Feed was tabling about hunger and they also had a food drive all week partnered with athletics. The benefits of that drive went to both the pantry on campus and the Williston Food Shelf to be distributed,” Hay said.
Other events hosted by MOVE during the week were a drive for new winter gloves, toiletries, and towels which was hosted by the COTS program that MOVE helped facilitate. Homeless women who experience menstruation were recognized throughout the week as well. “Cook and food also did a menstrual product drive to raise awareness about menstruation for people experiencing homelessness,” Hay said. MOVE participated in these programs to recognize those in need within the St. Michael’s community and surrounding areas.
MOVE also hosts service trips to help communities outside of Vermont. “Seven domestic service trips this year and other local opportunities’’ said Hay. “These trips happen during school breaks and right after commencement. These trips are designed for students to experience issues around the world and give service to those in need. Local opportunities are also available if students are unable to attend trips abroad.”
Best participated in the service trip to Florida last spring. “I got to go to Florida and help build houses. We actually insulated a whole house in three hours,” Best said. MOVE provides services to families in need in several communities around the United States. “It was really meaningful because you got to meet with families and see them live in the house that we built,” Best said. Students got the opportunity to build relationships with the families that they were helping and other students participating in the service trip. “You have this great opportunity to bond with people that you may not get on campus,” Best said. MOVE builds a community through the people they help, but also with each other here on campus.
“You can get involved in multiple ways. You can reach out to myself, Lara Scott, or Vicky Castillo,” Hay said. “There are also sign up sheets and you can also stop by the MOVE office to sign up with our student employees.” Sign up sheets are posted throughout the school.