Take part in this year’s Day of Caring

Students can volunteer May 5, for the Day of Caring.

Photo by Gabriela Romero | Student volunteers prepare sandwiches

Come and participate in this year’s Day of Caring with the Center for Service and Leadership (CSL), May 5. This year, students, faculty and staff will be able to serve and help their community by volunteering with six local organizations.

Students will have their choice to volunteer with Eloise’s Cooking Pot, The Rainbow Center, Tacoma Rescue Mission, The Giving Garden, Pierce Conservation District or the YMCA. This year marks a special occasion for this yearly event as it will be the first Day of Caring the CSL has been allowed to put on in three years due to the pandemic.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to bring community back, you know and kind of rebuild because I think a lot of people are new on campus, myself included… So I think it’s a great opportunity to bridge some gaps in connection that we’ve been missing,” said Gabriela Romero, chair for the CSL.

Students will meet at 12:30 p.m. at Milgard 110 where they will receive a Panera lunch. Afterwards, Associate Professor Tanya Velasquez will give a talk on the importance of service work and community involvement. Students will leave the campus at 1:30 p.m. to their chosen organization to volunteer. Students will then volunteer for the next 2-3 hours and be returned to campus where they will enjoy ice cream sandwiches after their hard work.

Planning for the Day of Caring has been in the works since January, with a committee of about 10 people; students and other individuals part of the community who have been researching and reaching out to non-profits.

“We tried to make this committee as inclusive as possible by including a lot of students from different student organizations and governments,” said Naia Elizarraraz, a Volunteer Coordinator.

Photo by Gabriela Romero | Student volunteers prepare meal kits

A lot of the work students will participate in at these organizations will involve outside work such as weeding and gardening. Other organizations will have the students partaking in organizational work such as sorting clothing donations or putting together informational packets.

Students who participate will also receive special merch such as a tote bag and a Day of Caring t-shirt.

Both Elizarraraz and Romero hope that not only will students choose to participate in the activities, but so will faculty and staff.

“We would love for this to be an opportunity where staff and faculty can get to know the students they help outside of the classroom. We hope that faculty and staff will be involved as well,” Romero said.

As for what students will gain from participating in the Day of Caring, Elizarraraz and Romero believe participation will be beneficial for those who would like to get to know their community a bit better.

“Hopefully (students will gain) connections with the organizations that they’ll be volunteering with and just a relationship in general,” Elizarraraz said.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for students to build community with each other and share a common goal of, you know, doing some service work with many of the non-profits,” Romero said.

If you would like to volunteer for the Day of Caring, you can fill out this form

For more information you can follow the Center for Service and Leadership on Instagram @uwtcsl