By Brook Williamson
LA JOLLA–Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and dozens of volunteers lent a helping hand at St. Vincent de Paul Village on November 13 as part of the university’s 50th Anniversary Volunteer50 initiative, which encourages volunteerism and showcases the widespread and diverse contributions of the UC San Diego community.
Through the Volunteer50 initiative, Fox is challenging all students, faculty, staff, alumni and university friends to perform 50 hours of service during UC San Diego’s 50th anniversary celebration, from September 2010 through June 2011.
“Service is an important part of the UC San Diego and the University of California mission,” said Fox. “This is a chance for the UC San Diego family to give back to our community – a community that has supported us for 50 years.”
More than 75 UC San Diego students, faculty, staff and community volunteers took part in Saturday’s group project, which included pulling weeds, planting flowers, sweeping sidewalks and preparing lunch. St. Vincent de Paul Village offers a wide range of services for the homeless – from housing and meals to job-training classes, counseling and a full-service medical and dental clinic.
“Volunteer50 is already having a positive impact on our community. We have more than 1,000 volunteers in our program and people continue to sign up every day,” Fox said. “This is a way for everyone to be an active part of UC San Diego’s 50th Anniversary celebration. Whether you live here or halfway around the world, you can participate in Volunteer50 and make a difference in your community,” Fox said.
Volunteer50 participants are asked to log their service hours online by visiting 50th ucsd.edu and clicking on Volunteer50. On the site, individuals can register for the program, learn about service opportunities, log donated hours, and track the cumulative hours of friends and colleagues.
Each month, a service theme will be featured on the Volunteer50 website – such as environment, education, arts and social justice – and local partner organizations will be featured that fit the month’s theme. Volunteers can perform their service at the partnering agencies, at any of the other organizations listed on the website or wherever else they choose.