Spring is here and the warm weather is finally enough to bring most college students out of their dorm room hibernation. It’s the perfect time for shorts, sunglasses, and getting out and serving your community! While many local organizations offer volunteer opportunities year-round, many more pop up with the daisies in the springtime. There’s something available for everyone, so I figured I’d share a few opportunities with you!
The increase in temperature and longer days may inspire you to head outdoors and get back in shape. An excellent way to do this is to participate in a charity walk or 5k. You can burn some calories while helping to raise money and awareness for a wide variety of great causes, and if you’re not in running shape, most events are always looking for volunteers to help with race day support. You can join the Hope for the Homeless 5k, the LASOS Running of the Bulls 5k Fun Run, or participate in The Color Run as a volunteer if your running shoes have been in the back of the closet for a while. Don’t worry, there are plenty more where those came from- you can check out Road Race Runner to find a race that benefits a cause you love on a date that works with your schedule!
For those of you with furry friends (or even just a love for them), there are ways for you to get involved this spring as well! Baltimore BARCS and the Maryland SPCA are located in Baltimore City and are always looking for volunteers to help within many facets of their organizations. If you find yourself a little further away from the heart of Baltimore, you can also check out the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown.
If neither of those opportunities seem quite your speed, but you still want to head outside to get involved, look into helping out with one of the following organizations. Project Clean Stream organizes area cleanups on a fairly regular basis, allowing you to get down and dirty while making your community a more beautiful place. The Parks & People Foundation also offers opportunities involving cleanups and planting, as well as chances to work with the youth of the community as a counselor, coach, or field trip chaperone.
For those of you allergy sufferers with a love for the indoors, there are plenty of ongoing opportunities for you too! If you’re interested in helping those suffering from the effects of homelessness, poverty, or hunger, feel free to check out St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Our Daily Bread, and Meals on Wheels. If you’d like to exercise your creative side, there are opportunities at Art with a Heart and through Arts Every Day. One of my personal favorite service activities is hosted by Operation Welcome Home Maryland, where you’re able to welcome troops home and thank them for their service at BWI Airport.
Summer festivals are behind us, but thankfully our favorite bands and musicians aren’t going into hibernation anytime soon.
Baltimore is filled with places to hear live music. From hole-in-the-wall venues to huge theaters, there are so many options. The hard part is deciding what you’re in the mood for on a certain night.
My first concert in Baltimore was at Rams Head Live. It was my birthday and Julian Casablancas, the lead singer from the Strokes, was in town for his solo tour. Not too big, not too small I thought when I took a look around the venue.
From mainstream artists like Lauryn Hill and Corrine Bailey Rae to upcoming musicians like Beirut, Rams Head’s calendar is filled with all types of music. As a college student I know how pricey tickets can be, but luckily Rams Head has affordable prices perfect for students.
So if you’re like me and need your fall fix of summer jams, Rams Head is a great place to check out.
How do I get there? Easy! Bring your college ID and jump on the free Collegetown Shuttle to Penn Station. From there take the free Charm City Circulatororange route to Stop 202 Commerce Street. Just walk a couple of blocks down to Market Place and signs for Rams Head and Power Plant Live are in bright lights!
When we talk to students at different schools throughout the year, the biggest question we get is “What is there to do in this city?” Usually, I respond back with “Well, what interests you?” At that point, I usually (not all the time) I get that deer in the headlights look, because we’re human – we’re interested in different things and open to new opportunities. Baltimore is a great college town with plenty of attractions and activities to participate in and the Baltimore Collegetown Shuttle can definitely get to you a lot of places around town.
So here’s the deal: A couple times a week, we’re going to post a little something called the Shuttle Spotlight (queue disco ball drop), which will basically highlight an event and/or attraction you can visit using the Collegetown Shuttle and other transportation options. We want you have a great on-campus experience, but branching out is just as important, and we can totally help with that!
To kick this off, we’re going to shine the spotlight (queue bright lights and drumroll) on the Walters Art Museum’s College and Arts Community Night to be held on Thursday, September 22 between 6 to 9 PM. There will be some commentary from the curator, light refreshments and drinks, an LED hula hoop dance (no typo here, seriously LED hula hoop dance!), and some dancing. The staff does an excellent job of putting this event together every year and it’s definitely a must see. Of course, don’t just redeem your one-time pass to the Walters and fuhgetta about it – there are rotating exhibits all year round!
Now, how do you get there? Simple! Take the Collegetown Shuttle – blue or red route – to Penn Station, hop off, then transfer onto the Charm City Circulator’s purple route. The Charm City Circulator is a free bus as well, so don’t worry about shelling out some coins for the bus – we got you covered! Ride the bus all the way down to Centre St and walk a few blocks west directly to the main entrance of the Walters. Show your student ID and you are golden!
For more information on this event and anything related to this gem of a museum we are proud to have in Baltimore, visit http://www.thewalters.org.
This Friday kicks off Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival right here in Baltimore. The streets will be filled with sculptures, vendors, crafts, music, and so much more to keep you coming back for more.
Mt. Royal Ave | North Charles Street
Who’s taking the stage at Artscape, take a listen.
Kristen here again! Yesterday was the official launch of the Charm City Circulator, otherwise known as the “CCC”. My fingers are crossed on this one. I truly hope this shuttle is used and is successful. Not only is it a great resource for residents and visitors, but even better it helps students! I remember when I first came to Towson, MD in 2005. I moved here from a suburban small town community and never took public transportation. Personally I think public transportation can be intimidating and scary if you have never ridden it before! I wish the CCC was running while I was still in school at Towson. I would have been much more inclined to explore the city knowing I had a FREE way of getting around!
As I stood at the launching ceremony I realized I have three wishes for the Charm City Circulator:
#1. I hope the Circulator is respected and well kept. There is nothing like stepping onto a brand new bus. It is clean, smells good and you’re not afraid to grab the pole attached to the roof if you have to stand. When things are free they tend to be less respected due to the lack of ownership and accountability. However, I hope the people of Baltimore realize what a great asset this shuttle is to our city and respect it as if it was your own car.
#2 I hope the Circulator encourages people to explore this great city! There are so many small boutiques and tiny cafes that are unique to Baltimore that are overlooked every day. It is so easy to get caught up in a routine that limits your exploration. (i.e. In college terms Panera Bread, Chipotle, Applebees… you get the picture) This shuttle service provides you with transportation to navigate your way through the city to find that hidden coffee shop in Mt. Vernon or that amazing pizza place in Little Italy! Get out of your comfort zone and jump on board.
#3. The last, but most important wish of mine, I hope STUDENTS use the Charm City Circulator. There are no more excuses allowed you now have an easy free ride! I have always regretted not exploring Baltimore sooner. As a student, Baltimore has some great things to offer. Camden Yards, Baltimore Museum of Art and The Washington Monument are only the start to the amazing attractions this city has. I hope students realize the significance and value this shuttle has to offer them in their four (or five) years at school.
I have included the Charm City Circulator link below so you can start planning your Baltimore tour! Start 2010 off the right way and jump on board 🙂