Community Service Programs

The Fairfield Challenge

Attention: First Year Students! Can't wait for your Fairfield experience to begin? Come for 3 days of fun, friends, service & spirit.

Dates: August 30th - September 1st, 2018

  • Navigate a ropes course and zip lines at The Adventure Park at The Discovery Museum.
  • Volunteer with local service organizations.
  • Make new friends, explore the transition to college, and much more.
  • Cost is $100.
Fairfield student participates in the Fairfield Challenge zipline

Spaces are limited! Applications open May 1.

Questions? Contact:

Allison Berger in the Dean of Students Office

Fr. Mark Scalese, S.J., at Campus Ministry

Nicole Heller at Office of Student Engagement

About the Programs

After School Programs

Boys and Girls Clubs of Bridgeport

Monday-Friday, 3-5:30 p.m.

Volunteers can assist in many areas, such as homework help, arts and crafts, leading gym activities, or assisting with special programs. Weekend and evening opportunities are available including refereeing and coaching.

Farifield U students interacting with kids in the Boys and Girls Club of Bridgeport‌Bryant School Book Club

Tuesday, 2-3 p.m.

Creative and outgoing bookworms needed! Have you always loved to read? Do you want to instill this same passion in the hearts of young students? Then the Bryant School Book Club is just for you. Volunteers facilitate a book club for a group of third graders in the after-school program. You will read with students and develop activities to facilitate discussion. A wonderful opportunity for aspiring teachers.


Bryant School Pencil Pal Club

Twice per month

You can make the day of a young Bridgeport student just by sending them a letter! Imagine the student's excitement as he or she reads your letter and then writes you one in return. Not only do you make a friend, but you help children work on their literacy skills and self esteem without them even knowing it!Student works with students after school at Bryant Elementary School

Cardinal Shehan Center

Monday-Friday, 3-5:30 p.m.
Monday-Thursday, 5:30-7:30 p.m. (tutoring)
Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Children and teens, ages six and up, go to the Shehan Center because it offers a safe, positive, fun environment. Volunteers may assist with the two after-school programs (one educational, one recreational) by helping with homework, reinforcing English language skills, playing games and sports with the children, and acting as positive role models. You may also choose to be a volunteer coach for sports such as basketball and flag football.

High Horizons Magnet School

Schedule is flexible

Help instill a lifelong love of learning to high-achieving students at this magnet school. Opportunities exist to get involved in book and math clubs, homework help and tutoring at Study Island; offer your editing expertise with writing workshops and more. Your new ideas are welcome!

‌McGivney Community Center

Monday-Friday, 3-5:30 p.m.

Volunteers work with children ages six to fourteen as tutors in the homework room, assistants in the arts and crafts room and computer room, or on the basketball court as coaches and teammates. There are also opportunities for greater involvement and leadership: start your own Friday program for the McGivney kids, incorporating your own gifts and talents (e.g., dance classes, theatre, chess club, etc.).


To volunteer with any of the above programs, please contact Katie Byrnes.

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world."
- Anne Frank

Animal Welfare

Student poses next to a loving cat.PAWS

Schedule is flexible

Calling all animal lovers! PAWS (Pet and Animal Welfare Society) volunteers help to socialize animals by walking, playing, and spending time with them to show them unconditional love. You will also be involved in fundraising efforts for local shelters in need. Joining this group is a great way to meet other like-minded animal enthusiasts.

To volunteer, please contact Katie Byrnes.


Caroline House

Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Friday, 9-11 a.m.

Storytime at Caroline House's daycare

Caroline House is a unique organization that teaches English as a second language to immigrant women. In order to attend school to learn English and "break the cycle," mothers need assistance with daycare for their non-school age children, ages one to four. Volunteers assist the staff by reading, playing, and doing arts and crafts with the children and working with computers.


 Thomas Merton Family Center

Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The Merton Center offers opportunities to facilitate the development of children through play at the Family Center. Most importantly, volunteers extend hospitality, friendship, and comfort to the guests.

To volunteer with these programs, please contact Katie Byrnes.

Fairfield Volunteer Corps

Flexible schedule

Volunteer at various local non-profit organizations at your convenience! Minimal time commitment; you choose the events that work for you based on your schedule (although we hope you will participate in at least one event per month). Projects range from block clean-ups to helping out at fundraisers. Meet new people. Help those in need. Feel good knowing you make a difference!

To volunteer with any of the above programs, please contact Katie Byrnes



(open to Juniors and Seniors)

WiMentor pairs youth from Bridgeport with caring people who help them grow academically and personally. Mentors/mentees e-mail each other weekly to exchange thoughts on topics such as college, careers, and hobbies and meet in person four times a year at program-sponsored events.

To apply to any of the above programs, please contact Katie Byrnes.

Soup Kitchens & Food Pantries

Bridgeport Rescue Mission

Saturday, 4-7 p.m..

Bridgeport Rescue Mission is a Christian organization that provides shelter and addiction recovery programs for men and women. In addition, the Mission runs a soup kitchen and mobile soup kitchen serving thousands of meals each month. Volunteers serve meals at the facility and then travel in the mobile soup kitchen to serve hot meals, give out clothing, and offer hospitality.

Food Rescue

Flexible schedule

"Rescue" food from the University and local restaurants that would otherwise be discarded and give it to those in need. Help soup kitchen, food pantries, and shelters provide more food to children, adults, and the elderly. Fight hunger by getting involved!

Prospect House

Friday, 3-7 p.m.

Prospect House is a homeless shelter in downtown Bridgeport that houses nearly 90 people! Prospect House offers emergency shelter, as well as ongoing social services to its residents. Volunteers cook, serve, and visit with the residents.

St. Charles Food Pantry

First Friday of every month

Volunteers provide emergency non-perishable food and toiletry items to the needy in our community. The goal is to provide enough groceries for several days; nothing fancy, just plain wholesome foods. Help collect donated items, raise money for other items needed, and deliver them once each month to the food pantry.

Thomas Merton House Soup Kitchen

Monday-Friday, 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Merton Center serves breakfast and lunch on a daily basis to approximately 200 guests and provides a range of essential social support services. Volunteers can help prepare food, make up trays, assemble take-out packages, stock pantries, serve meals, wash dishes, and clean-up kitchen and dining areas. But, most importantly, volunteers extend hospitality, friendship, and comfort to the guests.

To volunteer with any of the above programs, please contact Katie Byrnes.

Special Needs

Best Buddies

Meets once per month

Best Buddies pairs college students with persons who have mild to moderate intellectual disabilities to spend time together. Fairfield has had an active chapter for many years and hosts activities such as holiday parties, game nights, movie nights, field days, and more. The Kennedy Center helps organize the program. Their staff works closely with Fairfield students to plan and organize events and play a critical role in matching "buddies" together.

To volunteer with the above program, please contact Katie Byrnes.

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