|LCCE Viewpoint |
This month's issue is fully dedicated to one of our signature service events, The Project, which took place on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Apart from executing a successful event, our office is excited to announce that we have a new name, The Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement. We believe that this name accurately reflects our increased role in community engagement efforts for The University of Texas at Austin. We hope that you will join us in celebrating our collective success!
The Project: 14 Years of Success!
After a year of planning, the day anticipated by thousands finally arrived. On Saturday, February 23, the 2013 Project steering committee started their day at 5 a.m. with the goal of successfully executing 23 work sites that accommodated 83 service projects in total. With the help of 40 steering committee members, 200 dedicated team leads and close to 2,000 committed volunteers from UT, St. Edwards, UT alumni and community residents, The Project took on cleaning, building, painting, planting and motivating underprivileged youth.
Split into two shifts, The Project workday began with motivational kick-off events led by the Dove Springs Rec Center cheer squad and the Akin's ROTC Color Guard, who rallied the crowd of volunteers, and guest speakers who thanked everyone for their participation. Among the speakers, were Austin city officials, UT representatives and UT alumni, including football legend Vince Young!
The team leads and volunteers then dispersed to their assigned sites and began working. Among one of the work sites was the River City Youth Foundation. The culmination of all the hard work done by UrbanPatchwork, Home Depot, Dave's Nursery, and students and leaders from UT & St. Edwards materialized. With revitalizing efforts and a resurrecting vision for the community center, parents and children were pulled in from the surrounding community to take part in the transformation and restoration of a once flourishing and functioning community garden. An atmosphere buzzing with teaching, tilling, painting and mulching, quickly spread excitement.
What is transpiring at River City is a community united in their desire to see Dove Springs soar and neighbors coming together to support one another as partners in this movement. Thanks to the surge of new energy sparked by the 200+ students, 12 volunteers made the choice to become new mentors with the MY! Hero Mentoring program.
While much was done during the day of Project, volunteers will be returning to the site on March 23rd to finish revamping River City's entry gate with the help of Home Depot.
Project would not have been such a success without the collaboration between companies, organizations and the community! While Project was serving others, Longhorn Steakhouse generously served Project; providing lunch for all volunteers present. Pluckers hosted a fundraising event that donated 20% of purchases to Project. By the end of the day, Project went viral, trending on Twitter and gaining more supporters and eager newcomers!
A great big thank you goes out to all who showed up and dedicated their time and efforts! We look forward to seeing all of you next year!
A million in March! From 7 p.m. March 4 to March 5, 2013 7 p.m., Austin is taking on the challenge to raise $1 million dollars in 24 hours for non-profit organizations. The initiative, sponsored by I Live Here I Give Here, is called Amplify Austin, and hopes to begin a tradition in the Austin community. When donating, look for these UT non-profits who are participating:
Neighborhood Longhorns, an Austin Independent School District partner pursing to improve grades and skill performance.
Free Minds Project, an organization committed to offering a higher education to those who have struggled socially and economically in the past.
United to Serve Week: Celebrating Service-Learning and Civic Engagement
Monday, March 18, 1-3 p.m.
Campus-wide Open House
Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement
Student Services Building, 4th Floor (SSB 4.400)
100 W. Dean Keeton
Tuesday, March 19, 11:45 a.m. - 12: 45 p.m.
Faculty Open House
M Station Apartments
2906 E. MLK Jr. Blvd. Austin, TX 78702
Hosted by the Foundation Communities
Wednesday, March 20, 1-5 p.m.
Cultivating Effective University Community Engagement
A workshop presented by the Opportunity Forum and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
UT School of Social Work, Utopia Theater
1925 San Jacinto Blvd.
Thursday, March 21, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Campus-wide Service Reflection and Information Session
Gregory Plaza, 2101 Speedway
Saturday, March 23 * This is an all-day event
Service Event in Dove Springs
Undertaken as part of The Project 2013
As an Austin tradition, the first Sunday in March, is the annual Zilker Kite Festival. In order to acknowledge their important work, we have selected event sponsor, Exchange Club of Austin, as this month's community spotlight! The Exchange Club of Austin is dedicated to preventing and raising awareness of child abuse and they formed the Zilker Kite Festival as a way to encourage creativity in children and provide an outlet for constructive activity. The annual Zilker Kite Festival offers workshops, activity booths and entertainment for the entire family. The Zilker Kite Festival will be held on March 2, 2013 at Zilker Park.
For more information on the Exchange Club of Austin, or this annual festival, visit www.zilkerkitefestival.com.
February marks the annual Spring UT Volunteer Fair for the Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement. In appreciation of their dedication and support to the UT Volunteer Fair, we have selected Texas Iron Spikes as the second community Spotlight for this month! Texas Iron Spikes is a fraternal, service, and spirit organization on the UT campus. Members of this organization are passionate about helping others, both on campus and in the local community, and actively participate in various events such as the 40 Acres Fest and the Street Cleanup. Aside from dedicating their time to others, they hold the tittle as the official men's spirit group for the UT baseball team. Texas Iron Spikes has also committed to the Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement each semester by preparing food for over 200 participants at the biannual UT Volunteer Fair. The Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement salutes their ongoing support!
If you want to learn more about the Texas Iron Spikes and their mission, visit their website at www.texasironspikes.org.
The Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement invites you to nominate deserving students, faculty, staff, and registered student organizations for the 2013 Tower Awards by visiting our website at www.engageut.org
Nominations end on March 29th
Tower Award recipients will be recognized during our annual Tower Awards Ceremony, May 1, 2013
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