From April 29 to May 3, the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Associated Students Community Affairs Board will be hosting the premiere of their Volunteer Week. The week-long event will showcase the board’s mission to provide a platform for UCSB students to be actively involved in their community.
The week will be a one-stop shop for all things volunteer; each day entails a different theme thus ensuring the week’s consideration for the wide range of interests that pervade UCSB’s campus. To illustrate, there will be a youth outreach day; hunger, houseless, and human rights day; a senior citizen day; and an animal and environmental day. To top it off, the whole affair will be concluded with a Volunteer Festival on Friday, May 3, from 12 to 4 p.m. to take place on the Faculty Club Lawn complete with bouncy houses, an obstacle course, a photo booth, free T-shirts, performances, tables from organizations in the community, and stations in which students can actively participate in volunteer work such as card making for bed ridden children in hospitals.
Ali Guthy, the Hunger Homeless Coordinator of CAB, presented the idea to the board after President Barack Obama did a callout for a unified volunteer week across the United States, explains Daniel DeLaveaga, co-chair of CAB.
“I call upon all Americans to observe this week by volunteering in service projects across our country and pledging to make service a part of their daily lives,” Obama said, as stated in The Presidential Proclamation—National Volunteer Week 2012.
The national volunteer week actually took place from April 15-23, but because of conflict with UCSB’s Associated Students campaigning, CAB adjusted the dates accordingly.
To creat the event, CAB got in contact with the plethora of student groups and local organizations to be exhibited throughout the week.
“Everybody has been practically throwing themselves forward to help with this event,” said Alex Grant, board member and second-year environmental studies major. The enthusiasm of organizations and student groups within the community emphasize the strong support CAB has both on and off campus.
“I can’t wait to take part in all of their activities,” said Raquel Hayner, a fourth-year global studies major and new member of CAB. The board is expecting a large aggregate turnout for the whole week’s events and hopes for around 500 or more for the festival finale. According to Guthy, CAB will be planning to hold a “volunteer hour competition” throughout the week, in which students who attend the most programs and thus accumulate the most community and service hours for the week will be commended and presented with prizes worth up to $150.
CAB strives to promote community and services that, according to Grant, “really bring the school together” and “reinforce a sense of community.” CAB tries to not only unite UCSB but also improve the well-being for our local community.
“I feel this week will not only highlight the tremendous efforts of this incredible organization, but also encourage students to involve themselves in ways that better themselves and their community as a whole,” said Guthy.
“I think it’s really amazing that people are taking the time to do this out of their hearts,” said Jessica Pelayo, a fourth-year sociology and psychology double major.
More information on the schedule of events will be posted later this week.
Photo courtesy of Community Affairs Board