Volunteer Service

The Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research provides the UWM campus with different opportunities to volunteer throughout the city and beyond. Each week of the year there are opportunities to make a real difference in Milwaukee and beyond by working to improve the environment, mentoring local kids, stocking shelves at a food pantry, serving breakfast to Milwaukee’s homeless community, engaging in an alternative spring break, and helping older adults. Below are some specific programs coordinated by the CCBLLR, but we are also a drop-in center if you simply want a referral to a local non-profit agency so that you can coordinate a volunteer position on your own.

Student updating the exterior of a house

Student Service Record Program

This program helps you keep a detailed record of your community engagement activities throughout your college career. A certificate is issued after completing at least 75 hours of approved service in the community. Email leader1@uwm.edu to set up a meeting and start the SSR program. Current SSR students, click here to log hours, or download documents from the Resources page.

Student stocking shelves at food pantry

Food Pantry Program

Help alleviate the negative impact of food insecurity in a local Milwaukee neighborhood by helping us at the Hope House Food Pantry any Tuesday or Thursday afternoon from noon-3:00pm. Transportation is provided, and spots fill quickly, so sign-up for a shift now by emailing the specific date(s) you would like to volunteer to vista@uwm.edu.

Big Brother UWM student arm wrestles his Little Brother MPS student

College Bigs & Youth Mentors Program

Each year 200+ UWM students, faculty, and staff volunteer less than two hours per week by serving as a Mentor and Tutor to a local kid at a MPS school or local community center. Our College Bigs & Youth Mentors make a real difference in the lives of kids through this work. Join the ranks of these heroes, email rachels9@uwm.edu for more information.

Students prepare to serve breakfast at the Gathering

The Gathering Meal Program

Every Friday Morning, UWM volunteers serve breakfast to Milwaukee’s homeless community at The Gathering. Transportation is provided for this event which occurs from 7:00-10:30am. To sign up for one or more Fridays, email the date(s) you would like to volunteer to vista@uwm.edu.

Student in elf costume visits with older adults at the annual holiday party

Older Adult Programs

Volunteers looking for occasional opportunities with older adults can take part in a variety of one-time events. Volunteers looking for a longer commitment can help older adults experiencing various stages of memory loss craft creative stories with the TimeSlips program or befriend an older adult who lives alone in the Adopt a Grandparent Program.  Email vista@uwm.edu to learn more!

Alternative Spring Break participants pose with rakes and shovels

Alternative Spring Break

This year we will be serving in Asheville, North Carolina. Participants will engage in service at various non-profit agencies throughout the trip while enhancing their leadership skills.

A group of Bonner Leaders students at the Student Leadership Retreat

Bonner Leaders Scholarship Program

The Bonner Leaders Program awards 25 first- or second-year students a $1,100 scholarship after they complete 260 hours of paid or unpaid community service and complete a 3-credit leadership development course. For more information, email andersdc@uwm.edu.