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Volunteers lend Tucson a helping hand

By Zach Colick
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, November 5, 2004
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Students will have the opportunity to lend a helping hand to the Tucson community during the All Campus Philanthropy event tomorrow.

Matt Matera, the ACP adviser and a higher education graduate student, said the event will give students the opportunity to work at various places around Tucson, including visiting homeless and animal shelters, working with children and cleaning up city parks.

All Campus Philanthropy

  • What: A volunteer project that works at various locations around Tucson
    When: Saturday, 8 a.m.
    Where: UA Mall

The 18th annual campus-wide philanthropy event is open to all students who want to participate, including fraternities and sororities and students who need community service hours for scholarships or fraternity and sorority service time, among other reasons. But Matera said he thinks the majority of people who participate do so out of the goodness of their hearts.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. on the UA Mall, and breakfast will be provided to all participants.

After a short address from Matera, students will take buses, vans or their own cars to their assigned projects.

Those who participated in the event last year said they enjoyed helping improve the Tucson community and are looking forward to it again this year.

Kathy Tat, who was the membership vice president of service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega last year, said the ACP event is unique because there aren't many campus service projects so many students can be involved in at once.

Tat, a physiological sciences senior, said she's participated in the event since her freshman year and said the event is well organized because students don't have to worry about transportation.

She said she helped renovate the McCormick Park YMCA last year by cleaning out the swimming pool and painting a chain link fence and lifeguard station.

Tat said people at the YMCA were grateful for the effort put forth by the UA community.

"I've always liked helping people out," she said. "It's nice to see that people enjoy the work we accomplish."

Tat said working with a group of friends makes it more special and meaningful.

"It's great working with people you know," she said.

Matera said there were around 300 volunteers who participated in the ACP event last year and he expects that number to increase to around 550 to 600 participants Saturday.

The volunteering runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Priyanka Gupta, president of Theta Nu Xi, a multicultural sorority that participated in the ACP last year and will again this year, said the event is a unique way for the UA campus to do charitable service together and said it's a great way to spend a Saturday morning and afternoon.

Gupta, a molecular and cellular biology senior, said she went to the Boys and Girls Club and spent time playing sports and watching movies with the kids.

She said the kids enjoyed the individual attention they received from the UA participants because of how enthusiastic the students were to be there.

"It's a really good feeling and it's very rewarding," Gupta said.

Ryan Griffeth, president of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, who participated in the ACP with his fraternity last year and will participate again this year, said the people who benefit the most are the participants who work hard to better the community.

"At the end of the day, you feel really good about yourself and what you accomplished," said Griffeth, an accounting senior.

He said the community is also appreciative of the work and loves to see young people come out and help others who are need of a helping hand.

"Everybody needs help, and the Tucson community really enjoys seeing kids from the UA come out and volunteer their time," Griffeth said.

Participants will return to the UA Mall at 1:30 p.m. and be rewarded with free food, T-shirts, a raffle to win prizes and a live band, which will conclude the day around 2 p.m.

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