The Kernodle Center for Civic Life started providing a new transportation service for students who would like to volunteer at Elon’s long-standing partner — the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Alamance County — on Feb. 16.

The Kernodle Center’s transportation service plans to run every Friday from 3 to 5:30 p.m., providing Elon students rides to the Boys and Girls Club of Alamance County. 

Associate Director of the Kernodle Center Kyle Anderson also works as the pro-staff adviser for the Boy and Girls Club. According to Anderson, Elon University has given students the opportunity to volunteer at the local Boys and Girls Club for decades, partnering with a number of Elon departments and groups across campus. 

The organization has been one of the most active partners for hosting Elon students. Last academic year alone, nearly 400 students volunteered over 4,800 hours at the Boys and Girls Club. This amount of students and time volunteering with a community partner were both the highest totals last year in both categories, according to the Kernodle Center.

Anderson said  the Kernodle Center is always looking for ways to make their programs more accessible. Through providing more transportation, he believes  the barrier for students to participate can be reduced.

Junior Ali Fair said  she started volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club when she was a freshman at Elon and has been going back every year since. According to Fair, it was difficult at times to figure out how she would commute to the facility with the limited resources offered on campus. 

“I was a freshman and didn’t have a car on campus when I first started going, so we had to coordinate with other people in our classes,” Fair said. “It was a little stressful to have to talk to upperclassmen and figure out how to get there.”

Fair said the new transportation service is going to be very beneficial for students who want to get out and volunteer because it will provide them with an easy and convenient way to get there.

“I know for a lot of students that do want to get involved, rides are something that is a limiting factor,” Fair said. “Having that consistent time that they are able to get there will definitely be helpful for students that want to go for their classes or just want to volunteer on their own time.”

Anderson said  he sees the transportation service as an opportunity for more students to get involved in community service work.

“It may provide an opportunity for a student group to volunteer together, or for individuals to make a positive impact in our local community, which may have not happened if they did not have a ride,” Anderson said.

He also said providing a transportation service to the Boys and Girls Club can  give students a chance to get to know each other better on the drive to their shared community service experience.

“Even if someone just goes one time,” Anderson said, “there is an opportunity to build a new relationship, make a new connection, and open the eyes of our Elon students to some of the great non-profit organizations in Alamance County.”