Saturday, September 7, 2013

University of Guelph Students to Volunteer with Guelph Service Agencies

GUELPH, Ontario - September 06, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - Hundreds of community-minded University of Guelph students will help around 25 local service agencies Saturday, Sept. 14 during Project Serve day.

Begun in 1997, the annual event introduces students to community involvement and volunteerism.

Teams of five to 40 students will contribute more than 1,000 volunteer hours during the event. They will spend half a day in various jobs from environmental cleanup to food sorting at non-profit agencies. Team leaders will be senior students, faculty or staff members.

Galen Fick, Project Serve organizer and co-ordinator of local engagement in U of G Student Life, said,

“This day is designed on the principle of reciprocity with community partners.

“Students learn about local involvement opportunities, and we hope they decide to serve more than just this one day but for years to come. Local organizations receive genuine assistance and the opportunity to connect with the campus community and recruit potential volunteers.”

For a fourth year, through a volunteer program called Right Foot Forward, Off-Campus Living (OCL) in Student Life will distribute 700 resource bags to student households. Kathryn Hofer, OCL manager, said the bags will contain tenant handbooks, garbage bags, waste system information, athletic schedules and wellness information.

“We will be working with volunteers and staff to welcome students into off-campus neighbourhoods and share information with them about life in Guelph,” said Hofer.

“Volunteers will visit students to deliver resource bags and answer questions about the city. They also connect with local residents who may have questions about living in a community with students.”

Residents interested in participating in Right Foot Forward can email Hofer at khofer@uoguelph.ca or call her at 519.824.4120 x. 56276.

Student registration begins at the University Centre at 11 a.m. Laurie Schnarr, director of student life (student affairs), and Brendan Johnson, Executive Director of the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, will welcome students at 11:30 a.m. A wrap-up session will take place at 4 p.m. in Peter Clark Hall.

Other participating organizations include Camp Edgewood, Canadian Cancer Society, Evergreen Senior’s Community Centre, Guelph Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Wyndham House, Exhibition Park Neighbourhood Group, Dunara Homes for Recovery and St. Joseph’s Health Care Centre.

Project Serve was named Program of the Year by the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services in 2001.

Registration and additional information are available online.