FAU’s RUF students share their experiences volunteering during COVID-19

“It’s important for people to know that they can be helped and there’s a community around them that’s willing to help them, especially in this time of need,” freshman volunteer Morgan Ahearn said.


Zac McGee (left) packs bags of meat for Boca Helping Hands. Photo by Colby Guy.

Gabriella Brito, Contributing Writer

A group of students belonging to FAU’s Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) organization have consistently been helping the homeless community and those in need by volunteering with Boca Helping Hands. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, these students find it necessary to participate in providing for these individuals. 

Freshman students Morgan Ahearn, AnLu Wegerif, and intern for RUF Zac McGee, are all members of RUF, which is a Christ-centered ministry for FAU. Their mission, as stated on their website, is “RUF exists to see student’s lives transformed by the power of the Gospel at FAU.”

McGee mentioned that RUF was able to volunteer every Wednesday last semester at Boca Helping Hands. However, due to a change in plans “we have different volunteer opportunities that we attend, so we decided we’ll be here [at BHH] every other Tuesday,” he said.

Students interested in joining RUF or getting involved to volunteer with them can email them or check out their Instagram @rufowls. They are consistently posting when they meet, group activities, and upcoming volunteer opportunities.   

Boca Helping Hands is a non-profit organization that has made it their mission to provide food and services daily to benefit individuals, families, and children during times of need, emergency, or crisis. In the wake of a pandemic, though many people are worried about themselves and their health, serving others is still vital for the welfare of the society.

Even though COVID-19 has changed the way people interact with each other, McGee says “it almost feels like normal life now; wearing your mask, having your gloves on, and spreading out. It doesn’t feel as close, but I think that’s just what life has adjusted to now.” 

Ahearn feels as though “there is more work that needs to be done because there are more families being affected by COVID-19.” Not intimidated by the task at hand, Ahearn looks forward to continuing to help her community in any way she can because it is something that she enjoys doing. 

Wegerif, who was alongside Ahearn, also said that volunteering and giving back is something she delights in. “I enjoy spending quality time with the people around me as we work together to help out others in need,” she said.

Being able to volunteer for an organization that prioritizes serving people, like Boca Helping Hands, certainly makes the experience much more enjoyable.

 “When we first got here, we were given a rundown of what Boca Helping Hands does for the community and it feels good to be able to give back. That’s what RUF is all about too–building a community and giving back to it,” McGee said.  

A circle of support is key for not only building a community, but having others know that they are welcomed and cared for. “I think it’s important for people to know that they can be helped and there’s a community around them that is willing to help them,” Ahearn said. 

As people continue to face the uncertainties of this pandemic, the help of volunteers is appreciated now more than ever. 

Gaby Brito is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @gaby1brito