Day of Caring is Chance to Give Back

Community Service Opportunity for Students


Takumi Sampei

Teshome Molalenge in his office in the Center for Engaged Learning, 2nd Floor

Takumi Sampei, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, VA – Bridgewater College students volunteered throughout the community on Sept. 25, the official Day of Caring sponsored by the United Way.

The Day of Caring brings local community members, businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, and local colleges and universities to take part in service back to the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County communities. BC began participating in the Day of Caring in 2012.

In 2018, Teshome Molalenge, director of sustainability, had his students in Business 105 participate in a poverty simulation, a guided experience that exposes participants to the realities of poverty, including the challenges of navigating the complex world of government services and other essential service providers. 

Molalenge believes that volunteer experiences help students develop compassion and other skills and knowledge. During the simulation, participants assumed the roles of different families facing poverty. 

Molalenge referred to research studies that find students who actively volunteer tend to have higher academic performance in the class. These students recognize the importance of studying  for the sake of being able to better help others. This sense of mission motivate students to succeed. 

“The local communities are always thankful for student volunteers because they get valuable human resources to achieve their goals,” said Molalenge. 

Stepping off campus and interacting with the community is also a reminder that there are many who are not able to study in higher education institutions. 

“Day of Caring was a great opportunity to glow and shine as a person,” Dr. Molalenge said.