Community Engagement & Leadership

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Post and Find Volunteer Opportunities

The Community Engagement & Leadership Center (CEL) provides resources to students, student organizations, faculty, and staff at SMU in order to engage in meaningful community service in the Dallas area. We believe that service cultivates a consciousness of self, commitment to a common purpose and citizenship through guided experiences and reflection.


Make a Difference in Dallas

Search for Service Opportunities Online

SMU students, faculty, and staff are invited to use MustangTRAK, an online system for bringing volunteers and agencies together, in collaboration with the Hegi Family Career Development Center.

Log On and Search in MustangTRAK
Fill out the secure registration forms. Your information will not be distributed or sold for any reason.

User Guide
Step-by-step instructions for creating a profile and accessing volunteer opportunities.

  • General DisclaimerThe Community Engagement & Leadership Center and Southern Methodist University (hereafter referred to collectively as “the University”) provides access to a listing of community service opportunities and organizations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area as a resource for its students, faculty, and staff.  The inclusion of any organization or person in the database does not constitute a representation, warranty, or endorsement with respect to the competence, suitability, safety, or reliability of such organization or person by the University, nor does the University sponsor or endorse any third-party website listed.  Individuals or student organizations that wish to contact any such organization or person do so at their own risk and, in doing so, assume any and all risks of damage, loss, or injury resulting from contact with the organization or person.

  • Travel Disclaimer:  The Community Engagement & Leadership Center and Southern Methodist University do not provide transportation to community organizations.  Travel to and from the organizations for community service or other activities must be arranged on your own.  However you choose to travel to the organization, you do so entirely at your own risk.

Note: These disclaimers have been adapted with written permission from SOURCE (Student Outreach Resource Center)’s Community Council and Governing Board from Johns Hopkins University, Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, Baltimore, MD.

MLK Day of Service
Monday, January 18, 2016
10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Sponsored by:
Community Engagement & Leadership Center
Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH)
Panhellenic Council

Apply to be a Volunteer
Sign ups are open now through Thursday, January 14.  Brunch, transportation, and a T-shirt provided.

Click here to register.


Service Sites

We are partnering with the following Dallas non-profit organizations to host our 2016 MLK Day of Service:

Studies have shown that children who define themselves as creative have better problem-solving skills, are more successful in school, and have a higher self-esteem.  You can be a part of transforming the new SPARK! space from a raw basement to a 360-degree, hands-on playscape by assembling a colorful mosaic for the center floor, installing creative structures on the ceilings and walls, and painting for their upcoming Open House event.
Skills required:  Creativity and an open mind

Brother Bill’s Helping Hand
More than one out of every three families in West Dallas live below the poverty level.  Among many things, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand runs a grocery store that provides free food to more than 300 families per week.  Come help this organization by restocking the grocery store after a large food delivery.
Skills required: Ability to stand, bend and life small amounts of weights for up to three hours

Dallas Ramp Project (2 sites)
Change a person’s life by building a wheelchair ramp for disabled or elderly people who cannot afford to buy one themselves.  In about four hours, you can help give someone the freedom to leave their home again.
Skills required:  Familiarity with using a power drill and a hammer would be beneficial.  Volunteers should be comfortable working outdoors and getting dirty.
Please note:  Due to the nature of this project, volunteers should expect to complete the ramp before departing the site. End time project completion may be after 4:00 p.m.

Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship 
The center provides equine assisted therapy and rehabilitation for children and adults with physical, mental, emotional and learning disabilities. You can continue this mission by helping with facilities and barn maintenance projects while getting your hands a little dirty in the process!
Please note: Volunteers at this site should be aware that interaction with animals is likely.  Please consider any allergies that you may have.  Volunteers should be comfortable working outdoors.

Foundation for C.H.O.I.C.E. 
Foundation For C.H.O.I.C.E. (Consider How One Individual Changes Everything) focuses on preparing specifically hand-picked, at risk students for life after high school, while providing them with the resources, skills, and mentoring relationships necessary to promote a seamless transition. Be part of a mentorship, student panel and become a support system for local high school students. 

The Bridge
Help those in homeless recovery by organizing, sorting and assembling items for people in the Dallas region. The Bridge provides solutions for homelessness in Dallas by developing, coordinating, and delivering shelter, recovery & housing services. Don’t miss out on a chance to make an impact on those experiencing homelessness in our community!

Goodwill Industries of Dallas, Inc.
Donations fuel Goodwill’s social business to create jobs and job services to persons with disabilities and other barriers to employment. You can help Goodwill in their mission to provide job opportunity by assisting with sorting and processing donations in the Goodwill central warehouse!
Skills required: Ability to stand, bend and life small amounts of weights for up to three hours


Please note: In accordance with the SMU Risk Management Policy, ALL student participants are required to use the transportation provided. 

Please e-mail Bailey Guthrie at with additional questions.



About CEL Days of Service:

Once per semester, CEL invites the campus community to participate together in a day of service to the Dallas community. Stampede of Service takes place during the fall semester, typically around Homecoming festivities. The MLK Day of Service occurs in January on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. We work with a wide range of Dallas organizations during days of service, and past projects have included organizing food and clothes pantries, cleaning outdoor recreation areas, painting and restoring shelters, building accessibility ramps for homes, and helping teachers organize their classrooms.

United Way Day of Impact for Faculty and Staff



On Friday, November 20th, the SMU United Way committee invites staff and faculty to participate in a Day of Impact at the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center. The Dallas Children's Advocacy Center (DCAC) is a United Way service provider, and coordinates the investigation and prosecution of the most severe cases of child abuse in Dallas County, serving more than 4,000 children last year.

We will be helping DCAC prepare for the Holiday of Hope program, which provides clothing and gifts for the children and their family members during the holiday season. Coincidentally, DCAC is also the benefactor of the "Toys for Tickets" program held at SMU during the holiday season each year.

Due to the nature of the work at DCAC, an RSVP and background check is required of all volunteers. Please reserve your spot via the RSVP form that was distributed to faculty and staff from the United Way email. The deadline to register and submit forms is Monday, November 9th. Download the background check forms here. Please fax your completed forms directly to DCAC no later than November 9th at 214-818-2637.

The schedule for the Day of Impact on November 20th is as follows:

9:00am Arrive at DCAC (5351 Samuell Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75228); Introduction to agency and services

9:15am Get service project information

9:30am Work on projects around DCAC (organizing clothes closet and setting up Christmas tree)

11:45am Clean up

12:00pm Depart from DCAC

What to wear and bring:

Please wear comfortable clothing that you don't mind getting dirty and closed toed shoes. All supplies will be provided at the site, but we encourage everyone to bring their own bottled water or a reusable water bottle.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Howeth at

The Community Engagement & Leadership Center is proud to work with the following "Community Partner" non-profit organizations:

C.C. Young

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Victoria Jones at 214.841.2988

C.C. Young’s mission is to foster premier environments where every life at every age is valued and enriched. C. C. Young is a non-profit, premier senior living community dedicated to helping seniors enjoy an active, fulfilling lifestyle and providing personalized care and support.

General Volunteer Needs: host a birthday party, play bingo, arts and crafts, dominos, cards, puzzles, play piano or guitar, lead sing-a-long, direct a bible study, beauty shop help, read aloud, gardening projects, hospice companion, car wash, decorate for holidays, lead trivia contest

Dallas Holocaust Museum

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Jason Lalonde at 214.741.7500

Dallas Holocaust Museum /Center for Education & Tolerance is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and to teaching the moral and ethical response to prejudice, hatred and indifference, for the benefit of all humanity.

General Volunteer Needs: special events, receptions, photography, accounting, marketing, community outreach, customer service or design your own volunteer project with museum staff

Goodwill Industries of Dallas, Inc.

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Pearce Edwards at 214.638.2800

Goodwill’s mission is to provide training and employment to persons with disabilities and disadvantages to help them transform their lives through the power of jobs.

General Volunteer Needs: groups of all sizes are welcome in the warehouse sorting donated goods, as well as in our retail stores around the Dallas area; individuals may serve in stores, in our classes and mentoring programs

Heroes for Children

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Christina Richardson at 214.256.5824

Heroes for Children advocates for and provides financial and social assistance to families with children (0-22 years of age) battling cancer.

General Volunteer Needs: planning committees, office work, events, programs, public relations

Interfaith Housing Coalition

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Joseph Browning at 469.828.1823

Interfaith Housing Coalition is a faith based agency whose mission is to be “the hands of Christ helping families transition to self-sufficiency and new hope”. For over 25 years, Interfaith’s Housing Program has provided transitional housing via 49 apartments, self-sufficiency programs such as career counseling and budget mentoring, and children and teen programs for approximately 100 homeless families per year.

General Volunteer Needs: child's dinner hostess, new home coordinator, employment center mentor, children's and teen tutor/mentor, budget mentor, beautification

Legacy Counseling Center

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Jaime Toussaint at 214.520.6308

Legacy Counseling Center’s mission is to provide affordable and quality mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and special care housing services to people in the North Texas area who are impacted by HIV/AIDS.

General Volunteer Needs: patient visitors, arts and crafts, data entry, event planning, read or watch movies with the clients, host food drives, grocery shop, cook dinner one night, host a theme night

Nexus Recovery Center

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Beth Hunter at 214.321.0156

Nexus Recovery Center has assisted more than 20,000 women, adolescents, and children on their journey to recovery since opening in 1971 as High Hopes Rehabilitation Center. Parenting classes, family education and counseling, life skills training, and on-site childcare, combined with Nexus' award-winning, accredited treatment programs provide the tools to restore lives and create healthy tomorrows for families.

General Volunteer Needs: classroom helpers to assist with individual tutoring and special projects, general office help, mentors for teenage girls to provide monthly activities and emotional support, Parkland partners needed to accompany new clients to Parkland

Rainbow Days, Inc.

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Kelly Wierzbinski at 214.887.0726

Rainbow Days’ mission is to prepare and inspire children to live a life of hope and promise (despite enduring adverse childhood experiences).

General Volunteer Needs: work directly with children, youth or parents, assist with preparing for groups or special events, share skills and develop new ones, receive valuable experience, make a difference in the lives of children

Readers 2 Leaders

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Carol Porter at 214.905.0095

Readers 2 Leaders’ mission is to develop and grow the reading skills of children in West Dallas ages 3-10 so that they succeed in school, graduate and leave school prepared to live productive lives.

General Volunteer Needs: Reading Buddies: read one-on-one with a student once a week at Team Read school sites; After-School Tutors: assist elementary students with homework completion and work one-on-one with a student to help them improve their reading skills during our literacy focused sessions; Saturday Storytime: help serve snacks, work on activities with children and participate in the storytime session for families; Parent Prep: assist parents as they create literacy activities that they can use with children 5 and under (high need for Spanish-speaking volunteers); Lending Library: help organize and update the Lending Library by re-shelving books, processing new donations and preparing materials for Team Read programs.

Social Street

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Lauren Sanderson at 214.570.3140

The Social Street Initiative strategically collaborates tutoring with community organizations to alter the impact that external social issues have on a student’s academic performance. All Social Street programs are tailored to meet the uniqueness and specific needs of each campus and community population. Our goal is to adapt education to the student’s life, both inside and outside the classroom.

General Volunteer Needs: tutor-mentor to facilitate programs that offer both academic and personal enrichment to students

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Mallory Bassham at 214.978.0048

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is changing lives in North Texas by: preparing kids to graduate and succeed, helping families leave poverty permanently and enabling people to live healthy, responsible lives.

General Volunteer Needs: tutor or mentor middle or high school students, job shadow with high school students to teach them about different career opportunities, be a companion to seniors by playing games and visiting residents, serve meals to community members in need or deliver meals to homebound neighbors, lead learning activities with young children, participate in Reading Days to share your love of reading and inspire local elementary students, landscaping and building maintenance for our service providers, painting and space make-overs, playground maintenance and upgrades

Uplift Education

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information: Cassie Hubbert at 469.398.0084

Uplift Education’s mission is to create and sustain public schools of excellence that empower students to reach their highest potential in college and the global marketplace and that inspire in students a life-long love of learning, achievement, and service in order to positively change their world.

General Volunteer Needs: looking for volunteers to support scholars directly through a variety of methods including one on one and small group reading, tutoring, and mentoring, as well as activity based learning, After School Reading Program-Reading Buddies, One-on-One Scholar Intervention, Lunch Buddies, Teacher Project Help

Can't Find What You're Looking For?

While we encourage all of our community agencies to post their volunteer opportunities in MustangTRAK, there are always more.  We would love to help connect you or your student organization to an experience that aligns well with your interests, area of study, and/or time commitment.

Individual Service Consultations

The Community Engagement & Leadership Center offers one-on-one sessions to help match you with the right service opportunity.  These sessions are designed for anyone looking to get involved in the Dallas community on a regular basis, volunteer one time, or to simply learn more about a social issue. 

You will meet individually with one of our staff members to discuss your interests, experiences, and goals, and to collaboratively explore opportunities that meet your needs.  To prepare for your session, you may want to think about the following:

  • What community need or social issue are you passionate about?
  • Is there a certain type of population you would like to work with?  (e.g. children, senior citizens, animals, etc.)
  • How much free time do you have available to do community service?  How much of a commitment are you willing to make?
  • Are there career skills or experience you would like to develop through your community work?

To schedule an appointment, please call 214-768-7304 or e-mail

Group Service Consultations

Our staff would also love to meet with your student organization, class, or group of friends to find a place to serve in the community.  We want to make sure that you are matched with a volunteer opportunity that is mutually beneficial to your group as well as the agency. 

Typically our office needs two weeks to schedule group service projects, so be sure to contact us early.  To prepare for your session, you may want to think about the following:

  • What community need or social issue is the group passionate about/related to?
  • How many people are in the group?
  • What time commitment is the group willing to make?
  • Is there a particular date you are looking for, or are you flexible?

To schedule an appointment, please call 214-768-7304 or e-mail

Post Your Volunteer Opportunities.

The Community Engagement and Leadership Center (CEL) at SMU serves as a bridge between the University and the Dallas community, nurturing partnerships marked by student learning, respect, and reciprocity. 

We offer MustangTRAK, an online system for bringing volunteers and agencies together (in collaboration with the Hegi Family Career Development Center), for you to post your volunteer opportunities you wish to offer to SMU students, student organizations, faculty and staff.  We invite you to view the Step-By-Step Instruction Guide to help you navigate through our online system.

Register & Access Your Agency

Click the link above to create your online account through secure registration forms.  This will enable you to recruit volunteers from SMU, as well as post your volunteer opportunities, internships, and jobs.

General DisclaimerThe SMU Community Engagement & Leadership Center cannot and does not guarantee that you will succeed in recruiting volunteers for your particular event or need.  We reserve the right to edit and remove postings as needed.


Go Beyond.  Become an SMU Community Partner.

Partnership Level with the Community Engagement & Leadership Center (CEL) is a deeper affiliation that involves a shared Partnership Agreement.  Community partners have an on-going relationship with SMU whereby they become “co-educators” with CEL to not only provide hands-on direct service opportunities, but engage students in social issue education.