Holleran Center for Community Engagement

Community Service

To view the Community Service Guidelines, and see a list of approved Community Partners, please click here.

To access the online submission form for Community Service, please click here. To view or print the Community Service Verification Form, please click here.


Community service has its roots deeply embedded in the foundation of Alvernia University and is central to the mission of our Catholic, Franciscan institution. Service provides students the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to help those in need and to support local non‐profit organizations. Additionally, community service is an integral part of students’ learning experiences, contributing to their intellectual, social, and spiritual growth and development and providing a framework for students’ roles as members of both local, regional and global communities.

Holleran Center Sponsored Opportunities

Franciscan Fridays
Mulberry & Munch

Date: Friday, April 4, 2014
Place: Olivet Boys & Girls Club, 722 Mulberry Street, Reading, PA
Time: 12:30 – 4:30 PM
Service: Spruce up the Mulberry Club, and meet some Amazing Kids
            Transportation and Munch Provided

Contact: Judy Bohler (610-796-5509 or judy.bohler@alvernia.edu)

Classroom Garden Workshops - Millmont Elementary School

Dates: Tuesday, April 1, Wednesday, April 2, Thursday, April 3, 2014
Times: 1:30 – 2:30 PM (4/1)
           12:15 – 1:15 PM (4/2, 4/3)
Place: Millmont Elementary School, 400 Summit Avenue (close to campus)
Service: Assist Different 3rd  - 5th Grade Classrooms with Conducting an Activity that Involves Planting Tomatoes, Beans, and Peppers.

Contact: Nora Kahler (nora.kahler@alvernia.edu)

South Reading Youth Initiative

Dates: Ongoing
Time: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – 2:30-5:00 PM
Service: After school tutoring and mentoring children ages 7 to 1. Transportation provided if necessary.

Contact: Rochelle Oswald (610-568-1527 or rochelle.oswald@alvernia.edu)

Alvernia READS
Date: Monday, April 7, 2014; Friday, April 11, 2014

Place: Tyson Schoener Elementary School
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Place: Berks County Family Center
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 PM

Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Place: South Reading Youth Initiative
Time: 4:00-5:00 PM

Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014; Friday, April 25, 2014; Monday, April 28, 2014; Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Place: Millmont Elementery School
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Transportation Provided To All Sites

Contact: Cody Moyer (610-796-5504 or cody.moyer@alvernia.edu)

2014 Earth Day of Service
Date: Saturday, April 12, 2014

Place: Angora Fruit Farm (Near Antietam Lake)
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Service: Assist the Berks County Parks Department in restoring the newly acquired Angora Fruit Farm
            Transportation, Lunch and Free T-shirt Provided

Contact: The Holleran Center (holleran.center@alvernia.edu) to sign-up; include your T-shirt size

Eco Fun Day

Date: Friday, May 2, 2014; Rain Date: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Time: 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Place: Angelica Park (Adjacent to Campus)
Service: Assist with Environmental Education Activities with Elementary School Students

Contact: Alicia Sprow (alicia.sprow@alvernia.edu) or sign-up in the Holleran Center, Bernardine Hall Room 102.

Alvernia's Seniors College - iPad Club

Dates: Every 3rd Wednesday, starting March 19, 2014
Place: Upland Center, Community Room 103
Time: 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Service: Assist Club Members with iPad Technology
Contact: Sally Reading (sally.reading@alvernia.edu or 610-796-8357)

Alvernia's Seniors College - iPad Class

Dates: Thursdays, April 24, May 1 and May 8, 2014
Place: Upland Center, Community Room 103
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Service: Assist Prof. Mike Nerino with Class Participants
Contact: Sally Reading (sally.reading@alvernia.edu or 610-796-8357)

Community Partner Opportunities

One Time Service Opportunities
Goggleworks Center for the Arts (201 Washington Street, Reading, PA)

Dates: Saturdays, April 5 and April 12, 2014
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Service: Theater Assistants

Dates: Fridays, April 18 and April 25, 2014
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Service: Theater Assistants

Date: Sunday,  April 13, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Service: Greet Guests – Hand out Programs, Highlight Events, Answer Questions, Provide Building Directions, Assist with the Gift Store, Assist Children with “Make & Take” Art Project

Assist Teachers/Children for RSD & Olivets 21st Century Program
Time: 3:30 – 5:30 PM
Dates: Thursday, April 3, 2014 – Ceramics or Fused Glass
          Tuesday, April 8, 2014 – Ceramics or Mixed Media
          Thursday, April 10, 2014 – Fused Glass or Origami
          Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – Ceramics or Hot Glass
          Thursday, April 24, 2014 – Origami or Mixed Media
          Tuesday, April 29, 2014 – Ceramics or Hot Glass

After School Art Program – Assist Teachers/Children
Time: 3:30 – 5:30 PM
Dates: Starting Monday, April 14 through Thursday, May 29, 2014

**Family Arts Night will be Thursday, May 29 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Mondays – Ceramics, Yoga, Digital Composition, Drawing or Acting Studio Classes
Tuesdays – Photography, 3D Mixed Media or Mixed Media 2D Classes
Wednesdays – Fused Glass, Chess, Fiber Arts or Printmaking Classes
Thursdays – Ceramics, Woodworking, Painting Studio or Ballroom Dancing Classes

Contact:  Cindy Boscov (volunteer@goggleworks.org or 610-374-4600, Ext. 110)

Berks County Solid Water Authority

Dates: Saturday, April 19 and Saturday, April 26, 2014
Place: Governor Mifflin Intermediate School, 600 Governor Dr,Reading PA 19607
Time: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Service: Household Hazardous Waste and Pharmaceutical Waste Spring Collection

Contact: Jane Meeks (jmeeks@countyofberks.com or 610-478-6362)

Governor Mifflin Middle School PTO "2014 Color Me Mifflin Fun Run"

Date: Saturday, April 26, 2014 (Rain Date: Sunday, April 27, 2014)
Place: Shillington Park (next to Shillington Pool) Off Rt. 724
Time: 11:00 – 3:00 PM
Service: Set up, assist directing during the race, throwing colored powder at the runners/walkers, general clean-up after the event
Contact: J. Rebecca Chelius (Jennifer.chelius@alvernia.edu)

Nolde Forest

Date: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Place: Mifflin Park Elementary School, 598 Governor Dr., Shillington PA 19607
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon or 12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM

Date: Sunday, April 27, 2014
Place: Riverfront Park (near Reading Area Community College) on the Schuylkill River
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM or 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

If working the early booth time, you would need to pick-up materials prior to the event M-F 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM at Nolde Center Office.  If
working the ending booth time, after the event, you would need to return materials to Nolde Center Office M-F 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Service: Assist with the Nolde Forest Booth handing out informational materials about Nolde Forest EE Center and the environment.  Set-up and assist
Camouflage coloring activity for children (all materials and display will be provided).

Contact: Rachel Baur (rbaur@pa.gov or 610-796-3692)

Family First Resource Center

Dates: Monday, April 28, 2014 – Museum Trip – Need 2 Volunteers
          Thursday, May 8, 2014 – Stone Cliff Park – Need 3 Volunteers
          Thursday, June 12, 2014 – Planetarium Trip – Need 2 Volunteers
Place: 416 S. 7th St., Reading PA
Time: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM; Leave the Center at approximately 10:00 AM and return by 1:30 PM.
Service: Accompany Senior Citizens on Planned Outings

Contact: Willie Mae Brockington (wmbrockington@gmail.com or 610-372-7488)

March of Dimes “March for Babies”

Date: Sunday, May 18, 2014
Place: Penn State Berks Campus
Time: Starting at 6:00 AM for set-up; registration at 9:30 AM; step-off at 10:30 AM
Service: Assist with set-up, registration table, goody bag, breakfast/lunch, route, dog check-in, volunteer check-in, garden of angels, kid zone, greeting

Contact: Stefanie Schulberger (SSchulberger@marchofdime.com)

Nolde Forest "Project Feeder Watch"

Dates: Every other Monday and Tuesday, ending April 1, 2014
Place: McConnell Hall, Nolde Forest EE Center, 2910 New Holland Road, Reading, PA 19607
Time: Any time between 8:30AM-1:30PM
Service: Get involved in Citizen Science by counting birds for Project Feeder Watch by gathering data on bird migratory movements, population densities, species distribution, and health from all over North America - and YOU can help.

Visit Nolde Forest on any designated count day, watch the feeders for any amount of time from a comfortable indoor location, and record your observations according to a simple protocol. No particular time commitment is required. Come once or come often.

Contact: Eleanor Sweeney (noldeforestprogramstaff@pa.gov or 610-796-3689) to arrange a short training on observation and recording procedures.

Ongoing Service Opportunities
American Cancer Society "Road to Recovery Program"

Date: Ongoing
Time: Flexible Hours in Terms of Frequency of Service
Service: The ACS is looking for volunteer drivers in the Road to Recovery Program to help patients get to the lifesaving treatment they need. Volunteer drivers donate their time to take patients to treatment appointments and return them to their homes. They also provide encouragement and support.

To become a volunteer for the ACS, all you need is a safe and reliable vehicle, a current, valid driver’s license, proof of automobile insurance, a good driving record and complete a one-time training session.

Contact:     Gina Hagy (610-921-2329)

Hope Lutheran Church

Dates: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
Place: “Hope’s Hangout” at Hope Lutheran Church
          601 N. Front St., Reading, PA 19601
Time: 3:30 – 5:30 PM
Service: Assist with Afterschool Program; Interacting with children ages 7-14. Program serves approximately 40-60 children. Help with Education, Arts and Crafts, Baking, Games, etc.

Contact: Lorraine Nicol (610-374-2071)

Children's Home of Reading

Date: Ongoing
Place: 1010 Centre Ave., Reading PA 19601
Time: Variable
Service: Individuals to serve on the Golf and Dinner Auction Committees
            Garden Enthusiasts to help instruct the residents with the thriving CHOR garden
            Boy Scout Merit Counselors or Advisors to work with the CHOR Boy Scout Troop
            Residential/Development Liaison – 1 day a week to help coordinate events between departments
            Library Volunteers to help organize on-campus library

Contact: Mindy McIntosh (610-478-8266, Ext. 468 or mmcintosh@childrenshomeofrdg.org)

Lutheran Home Care & Hospice

Date: Ongoing
Place: Berks & Lehigh Areas
Time: Flexible
Service: 1. Bereavement Volunteers to make supportive calls to families who have experienced a loss.  Training is provided by the Chaplain.  Calls can be made from your own home
when our schedule allows.
            2. Bereavement Bread Volunteers needed to donate homemade sweet bread (banana, pumpkin, nut, etc.) that is taken by the Chaplain when bereavement visits are made to grieving families. Bread can be donated at any time to the Berks office, 1030 Reed Ave., Suite 102, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Contact: Cathy Sweeney (CSweeney@Lutheranhomecare.org or 800-840-9081)

Volunteers in Mission (Sponsored by the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters)

Date: Ongoing
Place: Las Puertas de la Esperanza Program
        St. Joseph Parish School
        1018 N. 8th St., Reading, PA 19604
Time: Monday and Wednesday – 3:30 – 5:00 PM
Service: Tutoring local elementary school students

Contact: Yesica Villalobos (610-796-8972 or bfvim@bfranciscan.org)

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, Lancaster County Region

This council is looking to start an accelerated program for those girls who have an interest in scouting, but may not have time for the traditional troop setting.

Service: Looking for volunteers who will be trained to lead the sessions during a course of six weeks.  Some of the areas include Stevens, Denver, Lititz, Leola, to name a few towns.  Become a part of the movement of Girl Empowerment.

Contact: Kristen Clineburg (kclineburg@gshpa.org or 717-884-4220)

Animal Rescue League of Berks County

Date: Ongoing
Place: 58 Kennel Rd., Birdsboro, PA 19508
Time: Monday & Friday – 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
         Tuesday & Thursday – 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
         Saturday – 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Service: Assist with walking and socializing the dogs, cats and critters; Assist with events that benefit the shelter and provide exposure for the animals; Be a “Kennel Companion.”  Kennel companions are paired with a specific dog in need and asked to spend 45 minutes, 3 days a week with that dog

Contact: Kristi Rodriguez (610-373-8830 x120 or KRodriguez@berksarl.org)

Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Berks, Inc.

Service: Assist with Neighborhood Surveys

Contact: Kelley Coates (kcoates@nhsgreaterberks.org or 610-372-8433) for more information.

Habitat for Humanity of Berks County

Service: Volunteers with a passion to fundraise using their creativity, talents and skills. Looking to build your portfolio/resume?  Hoping to put your fundraising ideas to use? Can’t volunteer on jobsites, but seeking a different volunteer opportunity?

Contact: Tiffany Fasig (tfasig@habitatberks.org or 610-373-3439) to learn how to involved TODAY!

Berks T1D Connection

Date: 3rd Monday of Every Month
Place: Reading Hospital & Medical Center, R Building, Conference Center (ground level)
       Check Lobby Monitors for Meeting Room Location, Park in the 5th Ave. Parking Garage
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Service: Assist with supervising, supporting, and mentoring Type 1 Diabetic Children and their Siblings (while their parents/family members are receiving support for T1D); play games, create arts & crafts projects, read books, etc.  Help make a difference in the life of a child with Type 1 Diabetes!

Contact: Denise Pasko (lauschgirl@gmail.com)

Bridge of Hope (A Church-Based Approach to Ending Family Homelessness)

Date: Ongoing
Place: 300 Church Street, Reading, PA 19601
Service: Volunteer to provide a meal, work in the office or assist at a fundraising event.

Contact: Jody Widing (610-568-1250 or jwiding@berks.bridgesofhopeinc.org)

Middle Creek Search and Rescue

Date: Ongoing
Service: Assist with Rescue Dog Training
Contact: For more information, please contact Kathy Gertler (Kathygertler@yahoo.com)

Life Choice Hospice

Date: Ongoing
Place: Service is provided in Berks, Schuylkill and Lehigh Valley areas
Time: Flexible
Service: Volunteers provide additional time and companionship to hospice patients in the service areas.  As little as one hour a week is helpful and arrangements can be customized to accommodate each volunteer’s personal schedule.  Training is provided to make sure each volunteer is given the instruction needed to guarantee a
positive experience.  Have the opportunity to touch someone’s life and gain experience for job resumes!

Contact: Stacy Perlaki (SPerlaki@lifechoicehospice.com or 1-800-557-7570)

Berks Encore

Date: Ongoing
Place: 40 N. Ninth Street, Reading, PA 19601
Time: Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-4:00PM - Flexible
Service: Tutor senior citizens in basic computer lessons, such as introduction to the internet, email, facebook, etc.  All the necessary equipment is available at the center. There is a fabulous computer lab, set-up with 5 laptops.

Date: Ongoing
Place: home in Exeter Township
Time: Flexible
Service: Visit a homebound Italian-speaking woman at her home for one hour per week. Could be very helpful for a student studying Italian and wants to work on conversational skills.

Contact: Emily Garb (EGarb@BerksEncore.org, 610-374-3195, Ext. 225[office] or 215-291-5850[cell]

Shady Hollow Assisted Riding Academy, Birdsboro, PA

Description: Shady Hollow provides a supported equine environment where individuals with physical, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities can experience therapeutic, social and education rewards through riding lessons.  This facility is approved by the PA Council on Therapeutic Horsemanship and features a 90+ acre farm with a sheltered arena for year round riding, wheelchair ramp and transfer platform for mounting trails.  Training is provided.  After the training class, volunteers help prepare the horses for lessons and then will either walk beside or lead the horse as the students ride.  No prior experience is necessary.
Website:  Programs for both able body and special needs riders can be found at www.hugahorse.com
Times: Day, evening and weekend opportunities are available

Contact: volunteer@hugahorse.com or call 610-582-4050

Berks County Residential Center
Date: Ongoing

Place: 1040 Berks Rd., Leesport, PA 19533
Service: 1. Work with Toddlers and Preschoolers – There is a toddler room, and BCRC will provide games and activities to assist volunteers.
            2. English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher – Volunteers are needed to teach beginning and intermediate English to adults from a variety of countries and educational backgrounds.  Most of the adults speak Spanish as their first language.  ESL class is approximately 1 hour, and there is some flexibility in the time of day that it can be offered. Increase your own proficiency in a foreign language by spending time engaged with the residents.
            3. Work with Children – Sing songs; play instruments; arts & crafts; play games; read stories; dramatic play; play sports.
            4. Work with Adults – Begin a book club; teach nutrition; teach residents a skill such as sewing, needlepoint, crocheting or computers; teach a trade; start an exercise class; play sports.
            5. Conduct Demonstrations (a skill, sport, animal training, martial arts, etc.).
            6. Conduct Performances (instrumental, choral, dramatic, etc.).

Contact: Ben Schneider (bschneider@countyofberks.com)

Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church, 1110 Snyder Rd., West Lawn, PA

Date: Ongoing - Sundays
Times: Two Shifts:  8:30-10:30 AM – 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Service: Be a one-on-one “buddy” to a student with special needs during the children’s/youth services (while parents attend the adult church service).  Children needing buddies range from preschool age to 12th grade.
Contact: Betsy Gettis (610-678-0266, Ext. 239 or betsygettis@ataog.org)

Permacultivate, Reading, PA

Date: Ongoing - Saturdays
Place: Reading Roots Urban Farm and Learning Center - City Park Greenhouse, Hill Rd. and Constitution Way, Reading
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Service: Assist with planting seeds, shifting compost from vermiculture bins, harvesting produce, sweeping, washing plant pots, and other duties.  There is an outdoor site next to the greenhouse where volunteers may sometimes have the opportunity to work outside, planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting.

Contact: Sarah Jacobson (volunteer@permacultivate.org)

For questions about any of the above opportunities, please contact the person listed or contact Judy Bohler, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Holleran Center for Community Engagement at 610-796-5509 or judy.bohler@alvernia.edu

Shillington Lions Club

Date:                    Wednesday, October 17 and Thursday, October 18, 2012

Place:                   KidSight Testing, Immanuel UCC Pre-school, Brobst & S. Waverly Sts., Shillington (behind Gov. Mifflin H.S.)

Time:                   Two Shifts:

                             9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

                             12:45 PM – 3:00 PM

Service:               Volunteers could assist with the eye testing by talking with the children, helping with their paperwork, etc.   There may be an opportunity for volunteers to learn to use the eye testing equipment if there is an interest.

Contact:              Melissa Hinkle (Melissa.Hinkle@bentley.com or 610-906-7254)


Date:                    Saturday, October 20, 2012

Place:                   Shillington Park

Time:                   10:00 AM

Service:               Assist with Tree Plantings

Contact:              Liz Bentz (610-775-4335)


Date:                    Saturday, November 10, 2012

Place:                   Grace Lutheran Church, Liberty St., Shillington

Time:                   4:30 – 6:30 PM

Service:               Assist with Annual Spaghetti Dinner

Contact:              Terry Naugle (tnaugle@greatvalleyconsultants.com)

Gardening at St. Joseph's

Gardening at St. Joseph's


Martin Luther King Day


Martin Luther King Day

Orientation Service

Orientation Service

Orientation Service

Orientation Service

Paint and Pizza

Paint and Pizza

Paint and Pizza

Paint and Pizza

Paint and Pizza

Paint and Pizza