Leadership and Civic Engagement

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Community Service

We’re glad you’re looking for opportunities to connect to community through service! We coordinate days of service (Spartan Service Day and MLK Day of Service), which you can sign up for as an individual or group and one-time service opportunities, Catalyst Days, for you to get involved. If you are looking for a list of community organizations you can volunteer with check out our Givepulse Database or sign up for our weekly announcements.

Students engaged in co-curricular service are provided the opportunity to explore their values, passions, and career interests; network with UNCG peers and community leaders; learn about themselves and others; practice and develop effective leadership skills; make commitments to social, environmental, and cultural issues; and connect in-class learning with out-of-class experiences.

Co-curricular service opportunities complement UNCG’s traditional education by providing experiential programs that move students forward along a journey toward active citizenship. An “active citizen” is one who engages the community, is empowered to participate in decisions related to public policy/services, understands political/economic/social contexts in order to make informed decisions, and challenges policies/actions/structures based upon principles of social justice.

Service Programs and Events

OLCE sponsors, or co-sponsors, several service events each year for the UNCG community. Watch our announcements and calendar for information on upcoming events!

Spartan Service Day

Spartan Service Day takes place on the first Saturday of fall classes as part of UNCG’s “Rawkin’ Welcome Weeks”. This day of service is an opportunity to live UNCG’s motto of “Service” while learning more about Greensboro and Guilford County.

Volunteer & Service-Learning Fair

Want to engage the community through service, but don’t know where to begin? The annual Volunteer & Service-Learning Fair takes place early in the fall semester and provides an opportunity to meet and talk with representatives from area nonprofits recruiting UNCG volunteers. This is also a great opportunity for student organizations to make connections for future group service projects.


OLCE’s Saturday service program, Catalyst provides opportunities for UNCG students to engage in organized service projects throughout the fall and spring semesters. Each Catalyst allows students to learn about a specific social or environmental issue through service.

MLK Day of Service

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in mid-January is a national day of service. The university is closed, but this is no typical “day off” – it is a “day on”! To honor the legacy of Dr. King, UNCG students, in concert with many Americans, engage in community service.

Empty Bowls

A collaborative effort between OLCE, Campus Activities and Programs, Office of Intercultural Engagement, and Housing and Residence Life, Empty Bowls serves to raise both awareness and funds to help fight hunger. UNCG volunteers paint the ceramic bowls which are later sold and serve as a reminder that there are always “empty bowls” in our world. Funds raised from the sale benefit a local organization working to address hunger issues in our area.

SECU Public Fellows Internship

The SECU Public Fellows Internship allows UNCG students interested in civic engagement a paid summer opportunity to build capacity with local organizations and agencies that support our communities. This program was developed in partnership between the UNCG Career and Professional Development (CPD) and Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement (OLCE) and thanks to funding from the SECU Foundation.

Covid-19 Service Protocols


At this time OLCE is offering very limited opportunities for in-person community service throughout the fall semester. We will be offering a modified version of our Catalyst program and Days of Service. Here are some of the precautions we are taking:

  • All service sites will be in Guilford County, with an emphasis on on-campus, walking distance, and outdoor opportunities.
  • All projects will be 10 people or less indoors and 25 or less outdoors, including student leaders and community partners.
  • All individuals involved will be screened for COVID symptoms before participating.
  • All individuals involved will be required to social distance, wear a face covering, and practice appropriate cleanliness (frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, etc.).
  • Face coverings, hand sanitizer, and any other necessary safety equipment will be provided to participants.
  • We will take extra precautions and minimize interaction with high-risk community populations, most service projects will be indirect service or direct service that does not involve person-to-person contact.
  • Participant information will be recorded in the event that contact tracing is required.


Click here to view our protocols for those participating in service opportunities independently in the community, and steps on organizing a successful service project.

Covid-19 Service Protocols

If you are thinking of participating in service opportunities independently in the community OLCE strongly encourages you to do the following:

  • Consider alternative forms of service before signing-up for in-person opportunities. Is in-person service absolutely necessary to the organization you want to partner with? Could you provide advocacy, virtual, or remote service, fundraising, making a donation, etc.? OLCE has a list of socially distant service ideas here.
  • If you are part of a group signing-up, avoid traveling together, wear masks if you travel with other individuals, and maintain appropriate distancing upon arrival.
  • Make sure the community partner you are serving with adheres to CDC recommended safety precautions and state restrictions including social distancing, limiting the size groups, frequent handwashing, requiring face coverings, etc. This means you will need to communicate with your partner in advance about the set-up and conditions at the service site.
  • Ensure your community partner is requiring sign-in and collecting contact information from those who will be in contact with you, other volunteers, or people they are serving so that contact tracing is possible.
  • Notify your community partner if you develop COVID symptoms after participating in the service project. Use the UNCG self-report system if you have a possible positive case or if you test positive.


GivePulse Database – Connect with community-based organizations looking for volunteers. Even if they don’t post specifically about what you’re looking for, you can contact the organization via email or phone to ask if they have what you’re looking for.
Service Consultations – Meet with OLCE staff to discuss your service interests, get recommendations for organizations to work with, and learn about upcoming service opportunities through OLCE. Call (336-256-0538) or email (lead@uncg.edu) for an appointment.
Transportation – Programs doing service projects together with student or professional staff may be able to reserve our 12 and 15 passenger vans. Visit our van reservations page to learn more.