Get help giving help through Penn VIPS


At the start of a new year, many people make resolutions to make lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier, exercising more and doing volunteer work. If one of your vows is to do good in 2012, Penn Volunteers in Public Service (Penn VIPS) can help you find organizations in need of volunteers, donations, goods and services.

Penn VIPS, a division of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, will help connect individuals, entire departments or groups of volunteers with organizations that need help. VIPS also offers opportunities for volunteers to join ongoing mentoring and tutoring programs sponsored by the University.

“I try to act as a consultant so I make myself available to help departments to develop different service activities,” says Isabel Mapp, associate director of the Netter Center and director of Penn VIPS.

To publicize the many volunteer opportunities available, VIPS regularly lists opportunities in the Almanac and the Perelman School of Medicine’s newsletter, HUPdate. In addition, at certain times of the year Penn VIPS holds events to collect items such as school supplies for neighborhood schools, and coats and food for relief organizations.

Some of the community organizations collecting items now include the West Powelton Concerned Communities Council, which needs stackable chairs; the Sunday Suppers group, which is looking for volunteers to distribute dinners; and the Neighborhood BikeWorks, which needs office equipment, including a fax machine, printers, and telephones.

If you can help, contact Isabel Mapp at 215-898-2020 or email

Originally published on January 12, 2012