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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.

CEL is excited to introduce its Volunteer Hub,  a student’s one stop shop to find volunteer opportunities, meet with and learn from peer volunteer consultants and track completed direct service hours. Additionally, the Volunteer Hub will serve as the primary location for community partners to post volunteer opportunities, edit and update organization information and engage with the SMU community.

What does this mean for you?

Students will learn of new service opportunities through our Weekly Volunteer ListSERV(E), by setting up meetings with CEL's Volunteer Consultants and by attending CEL programming such as informational meetings, Days of Service, and other service-oriented initiatives for students! 

Make a Difference in Dallas

The Community Engagement & Leadership Center team is excited to promote its Volunteer Hub, a student’s one stop shop to find volunteer opportunities, meet with and learn from peer volunteer consultants and track completed direct service hours. Additionally, the Volunteer Hub will serve as the primary location for community partners to post volunteer opportunities, edit and update organization information and engage with the SMU community. 


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.

Stampede of Service
Saturday, November 18, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m

Brunch and transportation provided

Register today by filling out the Volunteer Registration Form.

We are partnering with The Assembly, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Mustang Heroes, Rotunda Academic Scholars Program and the following Dallas non-profit organizations to host this year's Stampede of Service:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas (Cedar Springs)
    Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas’ mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. SOS volunteers will be organizing the library and the arts and crafts station, as well as painting the game room and decorating for Thanksgiving.

  • Dallas Afterschool
    The mission of Dallas Afterschool is to improve the quality and availability of afterschool and summer programs in our community. SOS volunteers will be assembling “wonder kits” for a hands-on, after-school activity for students focusing on STEM, language arts, and fine arts.
  • Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity
    Using affordable homeownership as an anchor for hope, change, and stability, Dallas Habitat has served more than 1,600 low-income families since 1986, resulting in an investment of approximately $150 million in more than 25 Dallas area neighborhoods. SOS volunteers will assist ReStore staff in all aspects of retail operations including pricing items, moving displays, organizing shelves, processing donations, and inventory control.
  • For the Love of the Lake
    For the Love of the Lake is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of White Rock Lake Park as an urban oasis and to ensure those who enjoy White Rock Lake Park actively engage in service to maintain the environment for future generations. SOS volunteers will assist in cleaning and maintaining the lake and surrounding land by picking up trash and doing various cleaning duties.
  • Goodwill Industries of Dallas *
    The mission of Goodwill Industries of Dallas is to provide job training and employment to persons with disabilities and disadvantages to help transform their lives through the power of jobs. SOS volunteers will be sorting through and processing all donations to sell for funds to hire those with disabilities looking for employment.
  • Legacy Counseling Center
    For over 25 years, Legacy has been providing quality mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and special care housing services for people challenged with HIV and AIDS. SOS volunteers will be moving/organizing donations for homes and organizing donation drive collections.
  • Mount Auburn STEAM Academy               
    The mission of Mount Auburn Elementary is to provide an educational environment where every child develops socially, emotionally, and academically through affection, appreciation, and personal achievement. Our working relationship with parents and community will ensure that every child becomes a productive, responsible citizen. SOS volunteers will paint New Orleans-themed murals at the school.
  • St. Philip's School and Community Center
    Founded as a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, we acknowledge that next to God, an excellent education is the most effective means of developing human capital. As a School we provide an unparalleled education fueled by a confluence of spirituality, self-determination and service to others. As a Community Center we provide services and resources that assist families in enhancing their quality of life. SOS Volunteers will be planting flowers, cleaning, and preparing for their 4th annual “Kidpreneur Expo.”
  • SPCA of Texas
    The SPCA of Texas is dedicated to providing every animal exceptional care and a loving home. SOS volunteers will assist in cleaning the shelter, assembling crates, etc.
  • Texas Trees Foundation
    The Foundation sustains a tree planting initiative for neighborhood parkways and medians, schools and other public open spaces, a tree growing facility to assure a healthy supply of trees for the future, and education programs to teach the importance and benefits of maintaining a healthy urban forest. SOS volunteers will paint tool sheds, mulch large areas, and prune dead wood from existing trees.
  • Voice of Hope Ministries *
    Voice of Hope Ministries exists to provide children living in the neighborhoods of West Dallas with strong character models, education support, life skills, and family support services needed to become productive Christian citizens. SOS volunteers will host families for a Thanksgiving day meal by serving the families, working as a table host, and handing out turkey baskets to families.
  • We Over Me Farm (Paul Quinn College) *
    The mission of We Over Me Farm is to transform the health and well-being of under-resourced communities in southern Dallas by providing fresh, healthy, affordable food options and by educating and empowering future generations to take better care of themselves, their environments, and their communities. SOS volunteers will plant winter crops and construct a winter crop cover.

* Denotes sites where FSL groups will be assigned

Please note: ALL student participants are required to use the transportation provided. E-mail with additional questions.

United Way Day of Impact for Faculty and Staff



Update: As of 11/15/17 all shifts are currently full. 

On Monday, December 11th, 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.

About the Day
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.

  • Volunteer shifts on December 11th are limited to 10 spots each from 10:00am-1:00pm and 1:30pm-4:30pm.
  • You will be asked to select one shift during which you can volunteer.
  • You will receive an email confirmation from Tamera Hurdle indicating if you were place during your preferred time slot, or if you were placed on the waiting list.
  • Spots fill up quickly, and we maintain a waiting list as spots occasionally become available later due to conflicts and schedule changes. For this reason, everyone who signs up and is on the waiting list will be asked to complete the volunteer background check.
  • Volunteers will be required to submit a background check form to DCAC prior to confirming the volunteer spot. Once you have signed up to volunteer, we will email the background check form to you to complete and submit back to Tamera Hurdle in a sealed envelope.
  • The deadline to register and submit background check paperwork will be Friday, December 1st.

Sign up for the Day of Impact
To sign up to volunteer with us for the Day of Impact, please complete the online registration form. Update: As of 11/15/17 all shifts are currently full.

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.

Holiday Toy Drive / Toys for Tickets
If you're unable to volunteer with us on December 11th, we would love to have you participate in the Toys for Tickets holiday toy drive that benefits DCAC. The deadline to donate toys at one of the on-campus dropoff locations is November 30th.

For more information about the Day of Impact or the Holiday Toy Drive, please contact Tamera Hurdle at

SMU CEL is committed to mobilizing students to address community-identified needs through community partnerships centered on respect, student-learning, and reciprocity.  We aim to nurture productive relationships with community organizations and understand that the relationship must be reciprocal in order to be most successful. CEL's Volunteer Hub will serve as the primary location for Community Partners to post volunteer opportunities, edit and update organization information and engage with the SMU Community! 

We want to work with you, non-profit partners! Please fill out the Community Partner Information form HERE

After submitting the Community Partner Information Form, you will receive a confirmation stating it has been received. Afterwards, you will receive a follow-up call or e-mail from one of our CEL staff members or student volunteer consultants, where they will gather a bit more information, set up a site visit and gain a better understanding of your organization's goals and mission, for us to serve you better. If approved to be listed as a non-profit partner or community partner on our internal database, you will then be emailed a form ("Request to Promote Volunteer Opportunities") to submit your one-time or ongoing volunteer opportunities as your organization sees fit.

 Individual Service Consultations

The Community Engagement & Leadership Center offers one-on-one sessions with our Volunteer Consultants 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 our Volunteer Consultants 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 e-mail and fill out this Questionnaire so our Volunteer Consultants can best assist you!

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