University hosts day of service for studentsBy Brittney Knox | 04/06/2011 11:39pm
The Community Service Center, the Student Government Association and Housing and Residential Communities will have students participate in Hands on Tuscaloosa Service Day that will take place on Friday, April 8 from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The service day will start at the UA Student Recreation Center. There, students will be assigned a service location before venturing out to volunteer from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
At the end of volunteer efforts, students will have free pizza together at the University Recreation Outdoor Pool.
Andres Mendieta, student director for volunteer and freshmen outreach, said they have about 300 volunteers signed up to help organizations around Tuscaloosa on Friday.
“There will be students placed helping the Boys and Girls Club, the Boys Scouts, the river clean-up and a host of other things,” he said
“Hands on Tuscaloosa is a way for our current students to give back to the Tuscaloosa community,” said Wahnee Sherman, director of the CSC. “Since there are no classes on Friday, it is the ideal time for students to make a difference in the community.”
Mendieta said this is the second effort to have Hands on Tuscaloosa. He said he spoke with the chair of the service day last year to see what worked and what didn’t as far as organizing the event.
“Things went well last year, but [we] wanted to focus on growth in participation this year,” he said.
He said with all three of the organizations working together to get the message out there, they expect to see increased involvement from last year.
Sherman said students will be able to make a great impact with the organizations on Friday.
“Having student volunteers on Friday morning will help the community partners and schools in the area,” she said. “Several of the partners have upcoming events that they need assistance with. Some have projects that need to be done that they haven’t had the manpower to work on. We’re going to be able to provide that help on Friday.”
“This day is important because it is a way for the students at the University to take a day without the stresses of class and give back to their community as well as interact with other students who are interested in service,” Jilisa Milton, a Hands on Tuscaloosa facilitator said.
She said the CSC has done similar events in the past and that they have always motivated a lot of students to become more interested in community service.
“I urge others to participate because there is a benefit to serving the community,” Milton said. “As a staff member, I have witnessed how rewarding it has been to go to non-profits and give back. The people are always very thankful.”
Sherman said students are able to sign up on volunteer.ua.edu, but they will also take students who show up at the Rec Center Fields on Friday morning.