CSU students volunteer for the 2013 CSUnity.
Claire Andrues first volunteered for CSUnity last year, when she was a freshman. That experience eventually led her to apply for a position in the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement, and now she is helping to coordinate this year’s event.
“I like participating in CSUnity, because it has a great impact and builds a great CSU community,” said Andrues, now a sophomore interdisciplinary liberal arts student. “I became inspired by the work that could be done.”
Andrues is one of three student coordinators helping put on CSUnity, a day-long service plunge in and around the Fort Collins community. Students commit to plant trees, paint houses, visit with senior citizens, and sort food, among many other much-needed community tasks, during CSUnity. The event, which takes nearly four months to organize, requires such logistics as recruiting student volunteers, reaching out to the community for projects, obtaining donations, and matching thousands of volunteers to hundreds of projects. Andrues and other students and staff play an integral part in every aspect of planning and execution, which brings an additional dimension to the CSU experience.
“While my education in courses at CSU has impacted my life greatly, what has made me realize who I am, what I am passionate about, and what I want to do in the future has all been shaped by my experiences in organizations with other passionate students and staff creating community and positive change on and off our campus,” Andrues said. “I am a CSU Ram because I am involved outside of the classroom.”
A huge impact in one day
This Saturday, Andrues will help coordinate more than 2,400 student volunteers, preparing them to head out into the community and participate in one of the more than 250 registered projects.
“CSUnity is an amazing way that CSU students can connect with the Fort Collins Community,” said Jenn Rieskamp, SLiCE program coordinator. “This year alone CSU students will serve nearly 200 residents, over 50 community agencies and complete over 9,000 hours of service on a single day.”
CSUnity’s services are provided to neighbors in the community; the City of Fort Collins; state, county, and federal agencies; and local nonprofits.
“There are a lot people in the community who need help and there is a large population of CSU students who are able bodied and would love to get outside for a Saturday,” said Andrues. “It just makes perfect sense to put them together.”