AUSTIN, Texas—Students and administrators from all 15 campuses in The University of Texas System will join together starting Saturday, April 17 in the first system-wide week of service project called “United to Serve.”
While campus volunteers at UT System universities in Dallas, Brownsville, San Antonio and other Texas cities undertake unique projects in their communities, The University of Texas at Austin volunteers have chosen to work together revitalize the Montopolis Friendship and Community Center in East Austin. Project Coordinator Sly Majid said the “United to Serve” activities involve a week of service dedicated to giving back to the communities of Texas.
The Montopolis Friendship and Community Center in East Austin has helped the neighboring area for 45 years, offering child-care services and a clothing resale shop and providing news of upcoming events in area. Volunteers from The University of Texas at Austin plan to work throughout Saturday painting, landscaping and repairing the aging facility.
Majid said students typically volunteer for service projects at each of the individual campuses, but this week’s events mark the first opportunity for cross-campus collaboration. The idea for “United to Serve” developed from a collective sense of responsibility to the neighboring communities of The University of Texas System campuses, he said.
“We were looking for a way to harness our interests in volunteerism at our university to similar interests at the 14 other campuses,” said Majid, who also is Student Government vice-president at The University of Texas at Austin. “We’re hopeful that ‘United to Serve’ becomes an annual event, but we also want to show that our collection of public universities understands its responsibility to the communities of the state.”
UT System Chancellor Mark Yudof and James Huffines, a member of the UT Board of Regents, plan to help as volunteers at the kick-off event Saturday. Volunteers are scheduled to serve in two shifts from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.