Volunteers are the backbone of a thriving city.
Laura DelPercio of the Newark Morning Rotary Club delivers dictionaries to third-graders at Downes Elementary. (Photo by Joe del Tufo)
Newark is more than a great place to live, work and play.
It’s a great place to volunteer.
“Newark has an amazing community spirit,” says Chrissy Palmer, recreation supervisor and volunteer coordinator. “Our volunteers inspire me every day.”
Volunteers help to keep parks clean, contributing 1,280 hours in 2015. Volunteers also donated a collective 5,817 hours to such recreational events as stuffing 11,000 eggs for the city egg hunt, staffing the Memorial Day and Halloween parades, and helping vendors and attendees at the annual Liberty Day fireworks at the Bob Carpenter Center on the University of Delaware campus.
“A lot of the volunteer applications we are getting now are for our summer camps,” Palmer says.
Last year, 42 dedicated volunteers donated 2,885 hours to working at camps.
“We have such a great pool of volunteers, including fraternities, sororities and clubs at UD, Newark Charter School and Newark High School,” she notes.
Newark makes prospective volunteers aware of ways they can serve through brochures that are distributed four times a year. Volunteer opportunities also are listed on the city website.
The city benefits from various service organizations as well, such as the Newark Lions Club. There are three Rotary clubs: Newark Rotary, Newark Morning Rotary and Christiana Rotary.
Breakfast for Thanksgiving, an annual event, is completely run by volunteers. Last year, 45 volunteers ranging in age from 4 to 90 flipped pancakes, scrambled eggs and served more than 150 guests.
“We host it for any community members who want to come out and be with others on Thanksgiving, including foreign students and people who do not have a place to share the holiday,” Palmer says. “The 4-year-old and a 6-year-old sibling made Thanksgiving Day cards for the people who came to the breakfast—which shows you are never too young to volunteer to help others.”