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Volunteers Find Their Place at FYSOP

How a week of service became a year-round commitment

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Click on the video above to learn more about volunteer opportunities with Boomerangs.

Kim Ebel (CAS’11) has learned many things since she came to Boston University, and some of the most rewarding took place before classes even started. At the First Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP), run by BU’s Community Service Center, Ebel was turned on to Boomerangs, one of many programs where incoming freshmen can volunteer before and after the start of school.

Boomerangs, a resale store in Jamaica Plain, sells clothing, furniture, and other donated items. The store gives 100 percent of its proceeds to the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC). Last year, Boomerangs took in $1 million, almost as much as the $1.2 million raised by the AAC’s annual AIDS Walk.

“I usually volunteer for children’s organizations,” says Ebel. “Trying something new and learning about HIV/AIDS was something that interested me, so I was drawn to Boomerangs.”

“Volunteers are our mainstay,” says Diego Sanchez, the AAC director of public relations. “They keep Boomerangs and our prevention programs running. The money they bring in allows us to do things like provide meals for people who may not qualify for state or federally funded food programs, but are still hungry every day.”

For more information on how to volunteer with Boomerangs and the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, visit the AAC Web site.

To learn how to sign up for the First Year Student Outreach Project, check out the FYSOP Web site. The deadline for signing up for FYSOP is August 1.

Robin Berghaus can be reached at berghaus@bu.edu.

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