Hands-On Programs

Environmental justice, animal rights, and human dignity are central to our Hands-On programming. If you are committed to making change and participating in programs that offer tangible results, these programs are for you. Sign up once or sign up every week to spend time with rescue animals, give blood, harvest much needed healthy food, or participate in our many other Hands-On Programs.

Hands-on Programs

It is the mission of Cause for Paws to advocate for the dignity of animals, raise community awareness of animal injustices, and inspire action that goes beyond the Saint Michael’s community.

Cause for Paws’ main focus is to promote animal awareness, and to support local shelters and non-profits. We currently partner with All Breeds Rescue to support their needs for walking dogs; cleaning; and providing tender loving care to the animals, many of whom need special attention before they can be adopted. Volunteers have an opportunity to go to All Breeds two different days a week. Students can volunteer once or throughout their time at Saint Michael’s.

Student Leader Contact: Skyler Accomando ’20

FEED’s mission is to work towards food security, a Catholic Social Teaching, through partnering with local organizations that pursue food sustainability. With our various partners, we participate in service that ranges from gleaning* to volunteering at food shelves and cooking meals for local shelters and community organizations.

Through fasts, reflections, forums, and participation in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, we aim to educate our campus on the local impacts of food sovereignty*,
food deserts*, and food security.
Some of our community partners include: Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, Williston Community Food Shelf, and ANEW Place.
* Gleaning: Rescuing food by gathering leftover crops from fields that have already been harvested.
* Food Sovereignty: the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate, sustainable food.
*Food Deserts: areas in which healthy and good quality foods areunaffordable and inaccessible to many people
Participate once or sign up every week!

Student Leader Contact: Tiana Dunne ’20

Special Events encompasses numerous and varying service opportunities. The Special Events program coordinates on-campus blood drives with the American Red Cross, raises funds for local benefit walks to support COTS (Committee on Temporary Shelter), and holds a fall and spring Serve-A-Thon. Special Events might be best known for hosting SMC’s New Student Apple Picking in the fall. Volunteers can help in a wide variety of ways. Below are descriptions of each of the program’s events.

New Student Apple Picking
At the beginning of the fall semester, Special Events coordinates a day of apple picking for new students to campus. On the first Saturday after classes start, new students sign up to pick apples at a local orchard and then donate the apples to local food shelves including the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow first-year students as well as provide fresh produce to community members in need.

American Red Cross Blood Drives
Special Events organizes three blood drives each year, one in the fall and two in the spring semester. The drives are all day events that offer multiple volunteer opportunities. Blood donors are always needed and appreciated by the American Red Cross. If students to not wish or are not able to donate, volunteers are also needed as donor aids, to help work the registration table, or work at the canteen station.

This annual fall and spring semester event offers Saint Michael’s College students the opportunity to come together and dedicate a day to service. Students are split into groups for different service projects at local non-profits. Transportation and lunch are provided for.

Every May the St. Michael’s College community volunteers for the COTS walk as part of raising funds for our partner organization, COTS. It is a final chance for students to volunteer their time before the school year is over. Students are asked to either raise money for the COTS organization or to just come to the event and show their support for by walking in this annual walk. Transportation is provided and students are able to sign up on the MOVE board.

Student Leader Contact: Edward Rankin ’21

The mission of SMC Habitat for Humanity is to support Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity, which believes that everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home.

SMC students who volunteer with Habitat for Humanity program cover a broad range of building and restoration projects in our community. The program works with local individuals in need of assistance with various projects, at all stages of completion. This includes painting, gardening, and reconstruction. We participate in Habitat “builds” throughout the year and work in Habitat’s ReStore weekly.

Saint Michael’s Habitat for Humanity partners with Vermont’s Green Mountain Chapter of Habitat for Humanity on building projects and assisting in the ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement thrift store whose proceeds help local build projects. Volunteers may offer one-time service, or can join multiple times throughout the year.

Student Leader Contact: Owen Marks, ’19


The mission of Outdoor Volunteer Efforts is to inspire the SMC community to appreciate and respect the natural environment through participation in service work and learning.

Outdoor Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) is about getting your hands dirty; MOVE gives students the opportunity to work in our own community garden or team up with local organizations focused on helping us conserve and interact with our natural environment.

MOVE has a partnership with the St. Michael’s Permaculture Site and collaborates with other local farms to support local farming and food distribution. MOVE has also done trail maintenance with a variety of organizations including the Green Mountain Club, Mad River Glen, and Wichland Woods in Keene, NH. We do service weekly in the SMC garden and we offer a few day trips throughout the year.

Student Leader Contact: Alyssa Valentyn ’19