Service Week showcases groups, desire to volunteer

By Jennifer M. Fitzenberger
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 29, 1996

Students wishing to turn over a new leaf this fall and get involved with campus volunteer groups can check out Fall Service Week, sponsored by the University of Arizona's Project Volunteer.

Fall Service Week, which began yesterday, is a five-day opportunity for students to help different groups around the community, said Mark Bierman, special events director for Project Volunteer.

Today, Project Volunteer is sponsoring a field trip to the House of Neighborly Service, which is a program that helps troubled young adults get their lives back on the right path.

"Through this program, troubled young adults can make money that can be put towards things like tattoo removal, when they are trying to get out of the gang scene," Bierman said.

Participants will leave the Project Volunteer office, located on the third floor of the Memorial Student Union, at 2 p.m. Participants can expect an informative afternoon interacting with members of the House of Neighborly Service and with youth who are enrolled in the program.

"We provide transportation to and from the activity. Anyone who is interested can sign up in our office prior to departure," said Bierman.

This week on the UA Mall, students have the opportunity to help young, disadvantaged children retain the spirit of Halloween. Beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday, volunteers will be able to pair up with children to carve pumpkins and map out trick or treat paths throughout the Memorial Student Union, Bierman said.

"The children are from Helen Street Children's Center, which provides low-cost child care to women on welfare. Most of these children live in an unsafe area where their families will not let them trick or treat," he said.

"This is a very practical experience for students who like children."

Bierman said that interested volunteers can listen to a domestic violence speaker from the Center for Battered Women, Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Memorial Student Union Room 282, and can also make sandwiches for the homeless on the UA Mall Friday.

Bierman said the sandwiches will be delivered to a homeless shelter in Tucson.

In a memo to prospective volunteers, Cliff Unger, executive director of Project Volunteer, said the organization plans and facilitates its own projects throughout the year and serves as a liaison between the community and UA faculty and students.

Beyond Fall Service Week, Project Volunteer sponsors service opportunities throughout the school year, the biggest of which is the All-Campus Philanthropy in April.

"For All-Campus Philanthropy, we send volunteers to 20 sites around Tucson to perform services such as fund raising, building houses, and cleaning," said Bierman.

Bierman said volunteers can get a lot of experience through Project Volunteer. "By inviting students to take part in the activities, we hope to get students interested in volunteer opportunities throughout the community," he said.