Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

September 22, 2000

U of G students 'take to the streets' to serve community

Approximately 300 University of Guelph students, staff and faculty and 50 high school students will be heading into the community Saturday, September 30 to volunteer at more than 25 local agencies as part of the University's annual "Project Serve."

In its third year, "Project Serve" was initiated by U of G's Citizenship Education Program to introduce students to community service. This is the first time high school students will be involved.

"We decided to approach Centre Wellington District High School and Centennial Collegiate & Vocational Institute for two reasons," said Laurie Schnarr, U of G's manager of Leadership, Service & Involvement Programs. "First, we wanted to offer high school students the opportunity to engage in meaningful volunteer work that would qualify under the new compulsory community service program announced by the Provincial Government. And, secondly, we wanted to expose potential university students to the caring, service-oriented campus that characterizes Guelph."

Working in teams of eight, Project Serve participants will spend several hours doing everything from cleaning conservation areas to delivering meals and sorting food at local food banks. Each team will be headed by a team leader who is a senior student, faculty member or staff person.

"It is our hope that students who participate in Project Serve will become aware of the range of volunteer opportunities available to them and the knowledge, experience and sense of connection to be gained through community service activities," said Cheryl Rose, coordinator of U of G's Peer Helper and Citizenship Education Program.

Buses will depart for project sites at 9:00 am from the University Centre. Participating agencies include: St. Joseph's Hospital, Guelph Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, Welcome In Drop-In Centre, the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, Community Mental Health Clinic, Hanlon Creek Rehabilitation Project, and the Centre Wellington Resource Group.

After volunteering the students will return to the campus to have lunch and talk about the experience. "We not only hope to encourage more students to volunteer while studying and living in Guelph and Wellington County, but to offer a more accurate representation of students as active, concerned and caring citizens who demonstrate their commitment through service," Schnarr said.

United Way Community Services of Guelph-Wellington, the Central Student Association and Elliot Coach Lines are all official sponsors of Project Serve 2000.

Contact: Laurie Schnarr, manager of Leadership, Service & Involvement Programs. (519) 824-4120, Ext. 2586

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