Community Outreach

The Kenney Center offers a variety of community outreach programs, annual service events, and one-time volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

PLEASE NOTE: Programs and events are currently being offered remotely due to COVID-19.

Want to Volunteer?

  • To learn more, join an existing program or event (below), or suggest a new service opportunity email
  • Join our Volunteer List to be notified about new volunteer opportunities.
  • Become a student leader - help to manage a program or event and recruit volunteers.

For other service opportunities on campus visit Community Service Clubs and Organizations.

Upcoming Events

  • Girls, Inc. Video Library

    Would you like to make a short 5 - 15 minute video? You can choose your own topic. They are looking for instructional and educational videos to share with the girls they serve in grades K-12. Share your talents or interests! Ideas include: making a craft, playing an instrument, conducting a science experiment, giving a tour of a Union lab, showcasing fun smartphone tricks, etc. Submit your ideas here!

  • 518 Day

    There will be several community service and fun projects outside on campus from 12 - 3 pm on May 18! Make a COVID kit, pack a snack bag, tie dye a shirt and more. Check your campus email for more details.

Community Outreach Programs

  • After School Program

    The After School Program links Union student mentors with children from local elementary schools to help them complete their homework and participate in fun activities.

    *Please note, the After School Program is temporarily inactive. Please check back here for more information on when the program will resume.

  • Discovery Academy

    Discovery Academy is a without walls day program offered by Schenectady ARC. Program participants come to Union College Campus to have a college life experience while also receiving both academic and life skills instruction. Union College student volunteers participate in a variety of ways including having lunch with the participants on campus, providing academic support, or helping to coordinate on-campus workshops for the group.

  • Empty Bowls

    This community event raises awareness and funds for local food programs. With the help of a ceramics professor, Union students have made hundreds of bowls, some made jointly with local Schenectady students.

  • Girls Inc.

    Schenectady Girls Inc. offers after school programming to local students in grades K-12. Student volunteers visit Girls Inc. twice weekly to serve as tutors and mentors.

  • Junior Science Program

    Junior Science Program is a hands-on science and math program that introduces girls and boys in grades 4-6 to the wonders of science and technology. Volunteers help participants conduct small science experiments and learn about various types of technology.

  • U-ReBloom

    Students and staff volunteer together to recycle potted plants and other living arrangements from the college and give them to local nursing homes, senior residencies, and rehabilitation centers. The Union College community visits several communities a month to bring smiles, conversation, and plants.

  • UCARE (Union Community Action Reaching Everyone)

    UCARE provides you with a link to volunteer opportunities in the community. UCARE also provides information about community organizations to assist you in identifying service opportunities that meet your interests. UCARE hosts an annual carnival in May that has become a well-attended and popular event for the community.

  • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program

    The Kenney Community Center provides space for the Economics Department to run the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site at Union College. Representatives of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Internal Revenue Service and the Schenectady County Department of Social Services participated in the development and implementation of the program. Student VITA volunteers work directly with low-income families to assist in filing their tax returns.

    For information about the VITA program, please leave a voicemail at (518) 388-6652, and your call will be returned. Kenney Center Staff are unable to help with VITA inquiries.

  • X-Quest

    X-Quest is a local organization that serves youth from early childhood up to the age of 14. Student volunteers visit Quest twice weekly to provide homework help, mentoring, and support.

Annual Events

  • Community Experience Pre-Orientation

    The Kenney Community Center offers an optional community service themed Pre-Orientation Experience for incoming students.

    Next Event: September 2021

  • John Calvin Toll Day of Service

    John Calvin Toll Day is Union’s annual day of service. Every fall hundreds of students volunteer at local sites. This is the single biggest day of volunteering at Union College.

    Next Event: TBD

  • Holiday Dinner

    Each year the Kenney Community Center hosts Union students for a holiday potluck. All food is prepared or donated by Union College faculty and staff.

    Next Event: TBD

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Youth Event

    On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day local middle and high school students are invited to campus for a day of activities including a workshop, Union’s annual Unity March, and a Q & A session with Union College students.

    Next Event: TBD

  • Random Acts of Kindness Week

    During Random Acts of Kindness week student volunteers organize a wide variety of efforts to spread kindness on campus and in the surrounding community. Activities include visiting a local nursing home to play BINGO, delivering candy bars to City Mission, and a free raffle for students and staff.

    Next Event: TBD

  • Volunteer Appreciation Banquet

    The Volunteer Appreciation Banquet is a celebration of community partnerships. Campus members and community organizations come together to recognize efforts that have been made throughout the year to serve the local community.

    Next Event: TBD

  • UCARE Day

    UCARE day is Union’s annual free carnival for kids in the local community. The carnival is held at the Memorial Fieldhouse every spring. There are games, crafts, food, and fun.

    Next Event: TBD