Penn Graduate Student Center

Volunteerism & Community Service

About Volunteerism & Community Service

Whether you are new to the area or lived in the area all of your life, Philadelphia is a place where you can call home. The Volunteerism and Community Service Program focuses on giving back to the local Philadelphia community, Penn community, and the larger global community through service. Volunteering helps grad students mentally, spiritually, and professionally in addition to making friends and having fun. Give back to your community by signing up for our events today.



Welcome to Campus, Everyone!

It's the start of a new year, and we at the Penn Graduate Student Center sincerely hope that you are settling in well and that you are getting excited for the semester! This year, the Grad Center has upped its commitment to our community by planning numerous events centered around community service, volunteerism and fundraising. We call it "Penn VOICE- Volunteering Out In the Community Everyday."

Penn VOICE Mission Statement

Penn VOICE will work to establish new relationships between our graduate students and the greater Philadelphia community through acts of volunteerism and mindful actions. With every act, we intend to be purposeful, thoughtful, selfless, patient and kind to those around us in the university, neighborhood and city.

We hope that you will join us in fulfilling our mission. Continue to visit our website and the Graduate Center Facebook page to stay up to date on all Penn VOICE opportunities.

We are happy to have your on our team.


Volunteer Meetings

VUB Volunteer Corps Office Hours with Tara

Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 02:30 PM - 03:30 PM
Room 303 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

VUB Volunteer Corps End of Semester Happy Hour

Thursday, December 07, 2017, 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

We want to say thank you for all of your hard work this semester! Come to an exclusive VUB Volunteer Corps Happy Hour at the Grad Center on December 7th from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM to enjoy some wine or a beer on us as well as some tasty snacks. 

Relax after a semester of hard work and get to know your fellow volunteers better! We will also be accepting volunteer sign-ups for Spring 2018 classes at this event. More information about Spring 2018 classes will be released on Trello on Saturday, November 11th. 


***This event if for registered members of the VUB Volunteer Corps ONLY. Any student registered for the event who is not a member of the VUB Volunteer Corps will be unable to attend.***

Weekly Service Shout-Outs

Each week, GSC VOICE will post three service opportunities that you can get involved in on and around campus. These are events that you can attend alone or with friends so that you can really begin to participate in your new home and with those with whom you share it. Check it out!


 Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.”


                                                     - Dorothy Day



As I reflect on the amazing impact that our Grad Center event, Our Kitchen Table, left on me this week, I am left feeling more appreciative than ever of my own identity and of my diverse community. I learned so much from others about how food isn’t just a connection to a place or just a favorite flavor combination. Food is an outward expression of our soul. However, as one attendee astutely pointed out, the ability to access, cook and consume food is a privilege in our society. As we move forward into this week of celebration and of remembrance, let us not forget others whose experiences this Thursday might be significantly different than ours. Some do not even celebrate Thanksgiving because of its dark and widely unknown history. Some do not have the resources to travel and visit with family or to cook a grand feast. If food is a part of what makes you who you are, share that power with others this week. Below are just a few ways that you can engage with your neighbors and feed your heart.    


*Dates listed below the volunteer opportunities do not indicate an actual event. This is the date on which these volunteer opportunity descriptions will be removed from this page.* 

Rock Ministries’ 10th Annual Thanksgiving Feast

Sunday, November 26, 2017
2755 Kensington Ave Philadelphia, PA 19134

Rock Ministries is a faith-based organization that goes out into its community to support its neighbors of all walks of life. For the past 10 years, Rock Ministries has invited the Kensington neighborhood to celebrate the holiday at their place, serving a full, multi-course Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of guests. Because they offer this meal at no cost to the guests, Rock Ministries welcomes food donations of needed items like cooked ham, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, cookies and much more! If you are free on Thanksgiving Day itself, grab a friend and sign-up to help cook, serve and clean-up the meal in service to others. Check out the link below to register to volunteer in person or to view the list of needed food donations.




Coalition Against Hunger Holiday Helping Directory

Sunday, November 26, 2017
1725 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Coalition Against Hunger is a network organization in Philadelphia that steps up when a neighbor looks into their pantry and finds nothing. Coalition Against Hunger supports a number of food pantries across the city and the county and also offers short-term and long-term relief services to families who are experiencing grave food insecurity. Coalition Against Hunger believes that each person is entitled to a tasty, filling and healthy meal regardless of circumstance. This year, Coalition Against Hunger has compiled a list of churches, shelters and other local groups who are hosting Thanksgiving meals for their neighbors in need. Follow the link to view 14 opportunities to feed your own soul as well as someone else’s over the next week.




Sunday Suppers

Sunday, November 26, 2017
2950 Memphis Street, Philadelphia, PA 19134

Sunday Suppers hosts families for a healthy, nutritious dinner together each week. Sunday Suppers believes that a family that eats together, grows closer together. Sunday Suppers also advocates for increased food access for all peoples by not only providing healthy and fresh food options at little or no cost, but also by hosting cooking classes and teaching new recipes or techniques. Sunday Suppers takes one-time volunteers or long-term volunteers, and they have many volunteer slots open for meals over this next holiday week. Volunteers help with food preparation, serving the meal and cleaning up afterwards. Sunday Suppers is also seeking volunteers with experience in photography, videography, graphic design and physical wellness. The link below shows available volunteer slots for 8 meals next week.


Application Information:

Natural Disasters Giving Guide

Due to the devastating news of several natural disasters that have occurred recently, GSC is reaching out to try and galvanize efforts to support communities that have been affected.

Click here for the Natural Disasters Giving Guide.

Common Room Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9AM - 8PM
Friday: 9AM - 6PM
Saturday-Sunday: 12PM - 6PM

Graduate Student Center

3615 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6221