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Celebrate the Season by Volunteering!

December 3, 2010 2 comments

Malaya V. Saldaña

Tis the season for giving! What is a better way to give than volunteering a bit of your time to helping those who really need it in your community. Here is the Dorothy Day Center’s bi-monthly update on volunteer opportunities, for those who want to give a gift that will undoubtedly be appreciated and never exchanged.

1. Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter

Position: Meal Preparer — Create a menu with Recreational Coordinator, bring the necessary ingredients; cook and serve a meal for 25-30 residents, assist in kitchen clean-up, and properly wrap and store leftover food. This activity would be perfect for a group of friends!

Commitment: Available Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (4:00 PM – 7:00 PM); may be one time or on an on-going basis at 211 East 81st Street, NYC

2. Nourishing NYC will be gift-wrapping for donations at the Barnes & Noble on E. 86th St. this holiday season! Volunteers are needed to wrap gifts for customers, plus offer any information requested about Nourishing NYC. If you like to wrap–and work with people–then we’d love to have you! You must be available on Mondays through December 27.

The group has created four meet-ups per day, one for every shift: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; 12:30 p.m. -4 p.m.; 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; and 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. If you are interested, sign up here:  http://www.meetup.com/nourishingnyc/calendar/#12 or contact Rachel Feldman with any questions at nourishingrachel@gmail.com

3. There are also a great deal of volunteer opportunities available through God’s Love We Deliver, in the roles of cooking, delivering food, and office administration. You can find full details on their web site, here.

4. The Food Bank of New York has many volunteer opportunities available as well. They host volunteer orientation programs on the third Wednesday of every month, which means the next one is coming up on the 15th. Learn more about their volunteer programs or RSVP for the orientation program here.

‘Tis the Season for… Gift Wrapping!

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Cristina Romano

Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

Are you pressed for time with finals, papers and numerous amounts of projects right before the holiday season? Have you gotten gifts for your family and friends, but don’t have time to wrap them (or are you just a terrible gift wrapper?) Well, the answer is simple – let someone else do it for you! The only thing you have to do is take a break from your fifteen page research paper and walk over to Borders in Time Warner and you are all set! Maybe while you are there, you can pick up a few extra gifts for your family on your holiday gift list (talk about one stop shopping!)

Starting tomorrow, December 1st, and continuing throughout the holiday season, local not-for-profit charities will be at the Borders store doing the wrapping task for you. While there is no cost for their wrapping services, a charity donation is highly encouraged to support their cause. In the end, not only will you be done with all your wrapping, but you will also feel good about yourself for making a generous contribution right before the holidays.

Before you run over there with a bag of gifts rivaling Santa’s sleigh, get in the holiday spirit right here on campus. Don’t miss FCLC’s very own tree lighting tonight at 5:30 on the outdoor plaza, hosted by USG and CAB! Free mugs and hot chocolate will also be provided – how can you go wrong? ‘Tis the season!

Oprah Proclaims National No Phone Zone Day in Movement Against Distracted Driving

April 30, 2010 1 comment

by Ashley Tedesco, blog editor

Today has been proclaimed National No Phone Zone Day by Oprah Winfrey, and if anyone can make something a national movement, we all know it’s Oprah. She has been spearheading a movement against distracted driving by encouraging everyone to make their automobiles “no phone zones,” discouraging any use of cell phones while driving–texting and talking, hands-free or otherwise.

“My biggest hope for the No Phone Zone campaign is that it becomes mandatory that no one uses their phone in the car or texts while driving — just as seat belts are mandatory, just as driving while drunk is considered absolutely taboo,” Oprah said in a statement quoted in the New York Times.

Unfortunately, citing the hesitation of viewers to go cold-turkey, the No Phone Zone pledge was changed by Harpo Productions to include the allowance of hands-free devices. The National Safety Council will therefore not to support the pledge, believing that even hands-free cell phone use is distracting and extraordinarily dangerous.

Currently, no states have a full ban on cell phones, though many enforce laws against handheld phones and texting while driving. Though totally cell phone-free roadways are ideal, smaller steps are important too. On the other hand, while the movement against cell phones in itself is a huge step and very important, it’s not the only culprit for distracted driving. Many motorists also eat, drink, read newspapers, try to search through handbags or calm children in back seats while driving–actions much harder to regulate by law enforcement authorities.

As we move into the academic summer and disperse across the country, it’s important to know the laws in each respective state. Learn more on on the Governors’ Highway Safety Association Web site. When it comes to cell phones and driving however, abstinence-only really should be the only way to go.

The movement against distracted driving is one close to the hearts of the Observer family after losing our news editor, Casey Feldman, to distracted driving in July. Please, take Oprah’s No Phone Zone pledge here and drive safely!

Blacklisted! Avoid being “those people” when dining out

After working at a restaurant for two years, I have discovered some recurring habits of highly annoying customers. Before heading out for food with your friends or significant other, review this list to ensure a dining experience that won’t leave you on the restaurant staff’s black list.

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