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A spirit that is not afraid

IMPACT makes a difference in the Auburn community

Students volunteer through IMPACT at Joyland daycare
Students volunteer through IMPACT at Joyland daycare

The beginning of the new semester brings new opportunities and resolutions. For those students interested in giving back to Auburn, IMPACT is an organization dedicated to serving those in the Auburn community. 

IMPACT allows students to serve in 16 different sites with 50 different opportunities, ensuring that volunteers can find something that interests them, said Claudia Casanova, IMPACT’s president. 

“IMPACT serves as a bridge between the Auburn students and community, and I think that is incredibly important and necessary,” Casanova said. “There are so many needs in the community that are less than a mile from our campus, and there are thousands of students available that can meet those needs. IMPACT brings the two together, and both the students and the community can only benefit from this interaction.”

While many organizations require weekly meetings, office hours, outings or more, IMPACT is a non-commitment organization. 

For students who already have a packed schedule, this means that they can serve in whatever time capacity they have available. 

“Giving back to the Auburn community is so incredibly important because there truly are evident needs here,” Casanova said. “For example, in Lee County, 18 percent of individuals are food-insecure.  That translates to 27,640 people, so volunteering at places like the East Alabama Food Bank or the AUMC Food Pantry are essential to combating this problem.  We should always strive to positively impact the lives of those around us.”

Casanova started with IMPACT her freshman year and, because of her love for animals, began volunteering with the Lee County Humane Society. 

However, there are many more opportunities that focus on the community of Auburn. 

“My favorite memory with IMPACT is probably the special projects we do with our project coordinators each month,” Casanova said. “For example, every February, we host a prom for the residents of the Azalea and Oak Park Retirement Homes, and it is so fun to see all of the residents dressed up in their best outfits for the occasion.  We crown a king and a queen, and it is just a fun way for all of our project coordinators to serve alongside one another.”

For any volunteers worried about transportation, IMPACT provides transportation to and from the service sites on the intramural fields, Casanova said. 

The spring schedule can be found on AU Involve or IMPACT’s social media, Casanova said. 

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