UWT serves Tacoma on Day of Caring

The annual Day of Caring hosted by UW Tacoma, a day dedicated to community ser­vice and local nonprofit organizations, will happen Saturday, Oct. 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The University’s Center for Student Leadership is inviting students to register for volunteer op­portunities at UW Tacoma’s website.

The Day of Caring will kick off at the University Y Student Center in room 304. Students will receive an introduction to the projects from the various nonprofits, hear from a key­note speaker and socialize.

Participants will be separated into groups based on their volunteer pref­erences given during registration and will be provided background for each nonprofit. They will then be trans­ported to the different sites and will begin volunteering for their chosen project.

Once the students return to the University Y Student Center, they will be able to discuss their work during a social. Some of the organizations will also have booths where students can get more information for future opportunities like volunteering, in­ternships and jobs.

The supporting events surround­ing the actual volunteering are de­signed to give students space for re­flection and promote a mindset for continued service in the future.

Teaching students about service, how UWT is engaging in service and what local organizations are accom­plishing is intended to encourage further volunteering.

“Good service is done with reflec­tion about why and how you’re doing it”, says Paul Prociv, civic engagement specialist for UT Tacoma.

Upon registering for the event, students will give a preference of vol­unteer interest. These include early childhood development, promoting grade level attainment, strengthening families, promoting health, poverty and environment. Although there is no guarantee that preference will match outcome, the hope is to have students working for a cause they are passionate about.

Currently, five nonprofits are par­ticipating in the program: Communi­ties in Schools, Tacoma Rescue Mis­sion, UWT’s Giving Garden, St. Leo’s Food Connection and Downtown on the Go. Each organization has a rela­tionship with UWT or, in the case of Community in Schools and Down­town on the Go, a faculty member works closely with them.

Each nonprofit organization spends their time serving a particular issue or demographic. Communities in Schools seeks to support students’ success and decrease the dropout rate. Tacoma Rescue Mission focuses on lifting people out of poverty and homelessness. UWT’s Giving Garden marries environmentalism with ser­vice and donates their produce har­vest. St. Leo’s Food Connection pro­vides food to those in need throughout Pierce County. Down­town on the Go advocates for more responsible transportation, like car­pooling and public transportation.

The Day of Caring is designed to connect nonprofit organizations and students. Serving alongside these or­ganizations will allow students to learn more about these groups and hopefully continue working with them in the future.

A central focus of the event is to highlight UWT’s connection to the greater community and promote the idea of an urban serving campus. Prociv believes the Day of Caring is about “students understanding this is part of our culture.”

One way the university supports and recognizes continued volunteer­ing is through the Husky Service pro­gram at the Center for Service and Leadership. All UWT students can log their service hours with this pro­gram and receive service medallions for graduation according to how many hours they have volunteered. Silver is 100-200 hours, purple is 200-300 hours and gold is 300 or more hours.

Interested students should contact the Center for Service and Leadership to attend an orientation or meet with an adviser. Students can choose their own local nonprofit to work with or have the Center provide suggestions. The Husky Service program also hosts supporting activities, like advising students on how to incorporate ser­vice into their resumes and a quar­terly social.

UW Tacoma’s upcoming Day of Caring represents the university’s commitment to engaging with the greater community and fostering the value of service amongst its students, staff and faculty — make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity.

Register to volunteer at:
tacoma.uw.edu/dayofcaring

 

COURTESY OF GABRIELA RAISL (LEFT) & MARGIE POTOAE (RIGHT)

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