There is something inspiring about a huge group of students walking up to an office’s front desk and saying “put me to work, doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll do it for free.” That’s exactly what hundreds of students have done for the last 16 years during CSUnity, SLiCE’s annual service smorgasbord. This will be my first opportunity to get involved with CSUnity, and I’m pretty excited. I’ve had fun in the past serving food, Hanging out with some elderly folks, building compost bins and helping with other short-term commitments, but I haven’t ever had the chance to work with hundreds of students at the same time. It’s pretty inspiring to know that I’ll be part of the service deluge hitting Fort Collins on April 16th. On average, over two thousand students sign up as individuals or as a group, taking to the streets, making Fort Collins and the surrounding areas better places to live.
This year we’ll be helping a lot of different agencies and community organizations, and to give you an idea of what to expect, I’ve looked into a few of the organizations we’ll be working with this time around.
One of the groups I’m personally excited about helping is CARE Housing. As their site states, CARE is a non-profit that “provides affordable rental housing and supporting services to working families.” This is a great organization addressing a real issue in our community, giving our younger citizens the opportunity to learn and grow in safe, supportive environments. To this end, we’ll be helping prepare their community gardens for this spring’s planting season as part of CARE Communities’ new healthy living initiative.
Another agency that sounds pretty awesome is the Wolves Offered Life and Friendship (WOLF) Sanctuary. WOLF aims to improve the quality of life for all wolves and wolf-dogs through rescue, providing sanctuary, and education for the public about wolves and their value in the wild. CSUnity will be helping them perform fire mitigation, forest thinning and other enclosure maintenance.
CSUnity participants will also work with the Environmental Learning Center here at CSU. The ELC provides programs for students of all ages and community members of all abilities. They offer family programs, service learning opportunities, and so much more. The week of CSUnity coincides with the ELC’s annual “Carpe Diem” volunteer day; Groups of students, community members, and individual volunteers will help complete service and experiential learning projects such as trail construction/maintenance, invasive species management, planting native species, protected area restoration, preparing their organic garden for Summer, and various other programs and projects.
This is a very small sample of all the different opportunities SLiCE is offering for this year’s CSUnity serivce plunge. If you want to get involved visit the CSUnity page to sign up as an individual or as part of a group. And if you happen to be part of an agency that could use a few college students for a day, visit the agency and group project registration site.