Every Monday, the Morgridge Center for Public Service sends out an E-Newsletter filled with volunteer opportunities to over 10,000 subscribers.
In the fall of 2017, one volunteer opportunity stood out to a UW-Madison student, Dana Hatfield — Be a Volleyball Coach.
It was a fortuitous moment that lead Hatfield to volunteer for Madison Starlings Volleyball after she had missed out on becoming a Badger Volunteer that semester.
A sports club that serves underrepresented, low-income and minoritized youth, Madison Starlings Volleyball aims to provide an equal opportunity for the youth to play volleyball at a competitive level locally and nationally.
When it comes to volunteering, Hatfield has done it all. Whether it’s at hospitals, daycare centers, food shelters, triathlons or bike races, she has always been passionate about cheering on others.
What made Hatfield’s experience with the sports club memorable was Lauri Schwartz, the Director of Madison Starlings Volleyball, who made her feel welcome and valued as a volunteer.
“Her passion for helping young volleyball players on and off the court inspired me in so many different ways,” Hatfield says. “It really opened my eyes to the issues that young kids within the Madison area should not have to deal with, but do at such young ages.”
After meeting with Schwartz, Hatfield was energized by her commitment to this program and these young volleyball players.
And though she volunteered to be a volleyball coach at first, Hatfield says that she ultimately was most useful providing administrative support and working to prepare for the team’s upcoming season.
“I was in charge of websites, emails, player forms, and organizing online file,” Hatfield says. “I also had a short stint as the interim Director.”
Madison Starlings Volleyball regularly seeks for volunteers throughout the year to help with coaching and administrative support. Schwartz is seeking volunteers who are trying to make a change and connect to their local community by giving the players a rewarding and productive experience.
Hatfield strongly encourages those with a background in volleyball to consider coaching with the Madison Starlings.
“Overall, Madison Starlings has been one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences,” Hatfield says. “You get to learn about yourself as a leader and as a learner, which tends to be the most rewarding and eye-opening experience.”