During National Volunteer Week, Nonprofit Unveils Initiative to Make it Easier for Recent Grads to Take on Service Years

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Camphill Association of North America’s College Loan Support Program Will Help Young Adults Repay Education Debt While Volunteering

Young adults volunteer at Camphill communities

For Many Young Adults, Service Years Pay Off

“So many young people wish to share their gifts, and are open to the personal growth that comes from living intentionally as part of an inclusive community. This program will help make that opportunity more financially feasible,” said Leila Kaplan, CANA's Volunteer Outreach Coordinator.

Camphill Association of North America (CANA) today announced the launch of a new College Loan Support Program that will help make it possible for more young people to work as live-in volunteers at Camphill communities in North America, while continuing to meet their college loan repayment obligations. The program is being funded with the support of a $75,000 grant from Camphill Foundation.

Through the program, CANA will provide up to $250 a month—or $3,000 a year—in loan repayment support to Camphill volunteers who meet eligibility requirements. Select Camphill communities may offer additional college loan assistance to accepted applicants who have education debt in excess of this amount.    

Camphill live-in volunteers join inclusive communities of people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as autism or Down syndrome. They undertake diverse responsibilities and learning experiences, from assisting in pottery, weaving, or woodworking studios to helping out in biodynamic farms, gardens, and bakeries; cooking community meals; sharing household duties; and leading excursions to nearby towns and cities. They live, work, and enjoy daily life alongside fellow community members of all abilities.

Participation in CANA's College Loan Support Program is open to volunteers who are United States or Canadian citizens with higher education debt from an accredited community college, four-year college, or graduate program. In addition to loan assistance, volunteers’ basic living needs are met. During their tenures, they receive medical insurance; a monthly stipend; a private room in a beautiful environment; wholesome, mostly organic meals; and other essentials. Camphill’s volunteer program also includes education and mentorship for those who wish to develop their inner mindfulness practices, whether creative, spiritual, or intellectual.

“Many volunteers describe their time at Camphill as transformative—a chance to discover themselves; develop lasting friendships; and gain creative and interpersonal skills in a diverse and supportive environment," said Leila Kaplan, Camphill Association of North America's Volunteer Outreach Coordinator. “So many young people wish to share their gifts, and are open to the personal growth that comes from living intentionally as part of an inclusive community. This program will help make that opportunity more financially feasible.”

"For two years, I lived and worked at Camphill Village Minnesota. Through this experience, I learned a great deal about myself, my passions, and my personal purpose in life,” said Joe Petersen, a volunteer alumnus at Camphill Village Minnesota. “I lived with an individual with physical and social needs, and provided for that person to the best of my abilities. What I received was beyond compare: dignity, purpose, and friendship in the truest sense. It’s an experience I will never forget.”

There are 15 Camphill communities in North America. Twelve communities have live-in volunteer openings. All applicants who are awarded a Camphill live-in volunteer position and meet the College Loan Support Program's eligibility requirements will be offered student loan assistance from the Camphill Association of North America. To learn more about residential volunteer positions at Camphill communities in the United States and Canada, visit http://www.camphill.org/clsp or e-mail leila@camphill.org.

About the Camphill Movement

Camphill is a worldwide movement of vibrant lifesharing communities that provide a unique model of care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Camphill movement draws inspiration from the principles of anthroposophy. In valuing the profound significance of each human being, practicing the art of daily living, and emphasizing mindfulness of our responsibility to the earth, the Camphill movement offers a model for social renewal.

About Camphill Association of North America

Camphill Association of North America represents 15 Camphill communities in the United States and Canada. It is responsible for live-in volunteer recruitment in the North American region and works with communities seeking to join the Camphill movement. Learn more about the Camphill movement and Camphill communities in North America at https://www.camphill.org/.

About Camphill Foundation

Founded in 1966 to support two fledgling Camphill communities in New York and Pennsylvania, Camphill Foundation has grown dramatically over the past five decades. Today, its mission is to grow, strengthen, and safeguard the Camphill movement at 15 Camphill communities and affiliates in the United States and Canada. Camphill Foundation primarily accomplishes this mission by providing strategic grants and low-interest loans that help grow and sustain the Camphill movement. Visit http://www.camphillfoundation.org for details.

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