Hordes of Colorado State University students will plunge into the Fort Collins area to participate in one of the largest single-day community service events in Northern Colorado.
Starting at 9 a.m. April 10, these students will kick off CSUnity 1999, a project to strengthen the bridge between Colorado State students and the surrounding community through outreach and volunteer work in the Fort Collins area.
"CSUnity gives students a chance to learn about the community in which they live. We all come from different places, and Fort Collins becomes our home," said Lisa Mansueto, co-advisor for CSUnity. "This project enriches a student’s life experience at Colorado State."
Students are not the only beneficiaries; various community non-profit agencies benefit as well. Teams of students immerse themselves in projects at more than 30 agencies in the Fort Collins area, exposing them to issues of concern to all citizens: hunger, homelessness, the welfare of animals, children, senior citizens and the environment.
"We all give, we all receive, we all learn and we all teach. That is what CSUnity is all about," said Mansueto.
In its third year, CSUnity is run through the Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs at Colorado State. The project was founded in 1996 by Jen Gelbmann, a graduate student, and groups of students from various campus organizations. The first year, 85 students, faculty and staff participated. Last year saw a huge increase with 218 participants enlisted.
"This program not only serves to bridge the gap between campus and community but also serves students who want to be a part of something that reaches everyone," said Jennifer Lyons, a junior at Colorado State and a second-year participant.
CSUnity day is filled with hard work and learning for volunteers. Their day begins about 9 a.m. at the Durrell Center with check-in, orientation and training for specific projects. Service work begins at 10 a.m. and concludes by 2 p.m., followed by discussion of the projects and how to improve next year’s program.
For more information about the sites or CSUnity in general, contact Lisa Mansueto or Adam Hallauer at 491-1682. Third-year participants Annie Rigo, 207-9644, or Amy Noeldner, 495-2482, also can be reached for comment.
SUGGESTED PHOTO/STORY OPPORTUNITIES:
Columbine Care East Focus: Older adults 421 Parker Street * Visiting residents and assisting with resident programming Fort Collins
Discover Center Focus area: Children 703 E. Prospect *Assisting with Poudre School District Science Fair Fort Collins
Mountain States Horse Rescue Focus area: Animal care 13713 N. County Road 17 *Horse grooming and general clean-up
Fort Collins Natural Areas Program Focus Area: Environment Lemay and County Road 32, west side of property *Planting shrubs, irrigation