Do not be intimidated by its rather long name—Roots Honorary Community Service is a small club with so much heart.
Just under a year ago, Ramandeep Kaur, a fourth-year biology student, founded RHCSC with the hope of giving Queens College students an opportunity to give back to the community through volunteer work. Specifically, the club specializes in local community outreach by hosting fundraisers, participating in walkathons, and taking part in local after school programs. While RHCSC strives to increase social responsibility, members gain more than just community service hours. “The club itself has [enabled] members to feel valued and part of a team. It [provides them with] an outlet for those who want to spend quality time away from their work or busy lifestyle, [as well as increase their] confidence and self-esteem,” Kaur stated.
The “Roots” in the club name comes from the organization’s mission to promote the ability for local youth to make positive contributions to their neighborhoods, or “give nutrients to the tree of life,” as Kaur put it. In fact, it was a personal contribution Kaur made to the residents of her own neighborhood that originally inspired her to organize the club. “The idea of forming this club came to me when I was volunteering at a local nursing home. I just spent a few hours being with [the residents], and I could tell it gave them happiness. Just a simple, ‘How are you?’ and ‘How’s your day been?’ put a smile that stretched from ear to ear on their faces. I had an unforgettable experience where not only did the people I helped feel better, but I felt good too,” Kaur said.
With only ten fully pledged members, the club has already made an impact. Some of their services include joining purpose walks, such as March of Dimes, The Foundation Fighting Blindness, and Breast Cancer, visiting neighborhood nursing homes, and volunteering at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. In fact, decisions about which community service opportunities to attend to are not just decided by e-board members, but rather by all club participants. “Although I’m a pre-medical student. I do not solely focus on medical based community service [opportunities]. Just because I’m the president of this club does not make me the judge, jury, and executioner of what activities and participation Roots does. The club functions on a voting basis; if a member is passionate about participating in a community service event for animals or the environment, we all will support. We are a club that wants to help all life forms,” Kaur affirmed.
As full-time college students, it’s hard to participate in activities that fall outside the realms of class and schoolwork, especially when taking into account jobs and/or children to be responsible for. However, Soha Aboushady, a senior biology student and member of RHCSC, stressed the club’s willingness to work around students’ busy schedules. “We try to make it as convenient as possible. [We’ll] correlate with others via email or video chat [so everyone remains feeling included],” Aboushady said. Group meetings are generally held Mondays and Wednesdays during free hour, but RHCSC is welcome to discussing other meeting times, as long as members remain fully committed.
If students would like to gain a second family on campus, become emotionally invested in others outside of their typical social circle, make a difference, and/or promote Queens College while obtaining volunteer experience, feel free to reach out to RHCSC’s President, Ramandeep Kaur, at email@example.com