Community Engagement and Volunteer Opportunities
Students can volunteer in various ways during their time abroad. The JFRC works with many local organizations (i.e Casa Ronald Palidoro, Opera Divino del Redentore, Comitato Balduina) to give back while immersing themselves in Italian culture. Students can volunteer at the community’s soup kitchen, clothing center, or by distributing meals. For more information about volunteering during your time in Rome please contact the Student Life Team, at email@example.com.
Clean Up Balduina Service Day
Throughout the semester, the JFRC community teams up with the local development organization, Comitato Balduina, which is dedicated to beautification projects and civic engagement in the Balduina neighborhood and Monte Mario areas. At the clean-up day, the JFRC community walks throughout Balduina, the neighboring community, by foot in search of trash and graffiti. Past projects have included: playground rehab, trash-pickup, and graffiti scrubbing.
The Zero Hunger Run
Every day thousands of people go hungry. Since 2006, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) host the Zero Hunger Run in Rome to raise awareness and fundraise to end world hunger. JFRC students, staff and faculty have actively participated in the 5k / 10k Zero Hunger Run for many years. Partnering with Team USA, the JFRC community is able to help the US UN Tri-Mission reach its goal every year. After the Hunger Run, participants are invited to the US Ambassador's villa for a traditional American BBQ. All those who attended were given a taste of home in Rome on the Via Appia.
Every Friday, students are invited to join Opera Divino del Redentore, a Vincenzian society, in St. Peter’s Square, to feed the homeless of Rome. This eye opening experience allows the student to see the role St. Peter’s Basilica plays at night. Rather than being solely a tourist destination, St. Peter’s basilica transforms into a hub for the homeless of Rome. Each Friday, students set up a food line, join them in prayer, and help distribute pasta, bread, and warm drinks. Students also have the opportunity to pass out panini throughout the square to those unable to make it to the food line. Afterward, the group participates in a guided reflection in St.Peter’s Square.
Throughout the semester, students have the opportunity to travel to Casa Ronald, otherwise known as the Ronald McDonald House in the United States. There, students have the opportunity to interact with children and families of those children who travel long distances for medical treatment. There, students participate in cleanup, crafts, and organization projects for the center. Aiutando ad aiutare, a helping spirit, defines JFRC student experiences.