Community partner spotlight

Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada

List the service-learning course you have partnered with.

We have partnered with Communication, Nutrition, Honors Program, the Medical School and Civic Engagement, to name a few.

Describe the Service-Learning activities that the students participated in.

The Students assist with the Food Pantry, at the Thrift Store, and from time to time at the Dining Room.
In the Food Pantry the volunteers assist with client registration, packing of boxes, repackaging of bulk items, general warehouse work, assisting our clients at the Farmers Market and even assisting with monthly reporting by data entry.
At the Thrift store, they assist us in sorting, tagging, organizing and cleaning donated items. At the donor door they may assist with receiving donations from our donors and assisting our customers with their purchases. The students may also assist at the dressing rooms and at the cashier.
The Dining Room serves 200-500 people per day. The volunteers serve lunch from 11:30-12:30. They may from time to time assist with food prep and dishwashing as well.

What was the impact of service-learning on your agency?

The volunteers provide a great service and assist us in serving the many clients each day. We cannot accomplish all that we need to in a day without the assistance of our many dedicated volunteers. In 2017, the many volunteers donated over 53,000 hours of their time. Their help is a necessity without which we could not serve the many clients that come to us for basic needs.

What do you believe the students got out of the experience of working with you?

The students begin to realize need there is in our community for basic needs (food clothing, housing) and that the clients we serve are from all walks of life but have fallen on hard times. They learn A LOT about people in general. I believe that they reap great rewards from helping others that could be their neighbors or fellow students. The people we serve are old and young, individuals and families, Veterans and students.

Name something important you learned (as a community partner) through your work with the service-learning courses.

CCNN has been very fortunate to work with such talented and giving students. The students are very tech savvy (not a surprise, but very valuable to us) and although they are very busy with their classes, school work and jobs, many give many more hours than their class requirement. They provide an energy and enthusiasm that spreads throughout the group of volunteers. Also, as a judge for student posters I and my colleagues have learned about some of the interesting projects the students participate in through their coursework. OSLCE encourages mutually beneficial collaborations between faculty, students, and community partners.

How did you see this come to fruition in this project?

We have been partners with OSLCE for a few years. We worked with the office during the development of GivePulse and have had service learning opportunities for students for some time. We collaborate on projects throughout the year, student events, Service events, Group events, faculty round table, etc.

Are there additional needs/projects for your organization that students/faculty could help support?

We continue and delight in the collaboration between the University of Nevada, Reno and Catholic Charities. It is a very mutually beneficial relationship and we are thrilled to be able to continue to work closely together on many programs, events.

If you would like to find out more about Catholic Charities visit