About the Program
Through DURO, dozens of retired physicians, nurses, professors, staff assistants, housekeepers and administrators complete special projects that benefit the school partners of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, primarily Lakewood Elementary School. DDNP staff support DURO through funding and coordination assistance.
All Duke retirees and their spouses are invited to join DURO, which was founded in 1997 to promote meaningful volunteer opportunities in the Durham community. Members contribute their time and expertise to service, and they meet three times per year to socialize and to learn about Lakewood and its volunteer needs.
DURO projects at Lakewood include:
- Backpack Program: DURO sends home groceries every Friday for 20 families who otherwise would be food-insecure during the weekend. Volunteers shop for the groceries and pack the bags.
- School Garden: DURO constructed one of the first school gardens in Durham. Today it maintains the beautiful space and provides classes for students after school, with the help of a DURO-supported part-time garden coordinator.
- Academic Assistance: DURO members tutor in literacy and math. They also assist in computer and media classes, proctor EOG tests, and provide volunteers for the Odyssey of the Mind program.
- Book Donations: DURO gives one book per year to every Lakewood student.
- Health and Wellness: DURO volunteers assist with the annual Field Day and the Walk, Ride, Run Day.
- School Beautification: Along with the Duke Alumni Board and the Duke Alumni Association, DURO has built structures for the playgrounds and the garden; improved walkways; mulched areas around trees and in the playgrounds; and painted both inside and outside of the school.
To volunteer or learn more, contact DURO volunteers Connie Winstead at firstname.lastname@example.org or Margaret Hodel at email@example.com.