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Cassandra Howard

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Monday, August 25, 2003

SPEA students to help community in Thursday volunteer blitz

Eighteen non-profit agencies to be assisted

About 120 incoming graduate students at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs will be involved in a volunteer blitz on Thursday (Aug. 28) to help 18 Bloomington area community groups and non-profit organizations.

Andrea Salzburg and Jessica Call, SPEA graduate students, are co-directing the project as part of their duties with Students Taking Active Roles Today (START), a SPEA program that facilitates student, faculty and staff involvement in the community through volunteer activities.

"I always thought it was important -- especially for students -- to get to know the community they're living in," said Salzburg. "It's often too easy to stay wrapped up in the campus environment and never find out what the community has to offer or what it needs."

The student organization's belief is that people learn best by giving something of themselves. It seeks to link school capabilities with community needs. Throughout the fall and spring semesters, START conducts volunteer activities that are determined by a committee of students.

This is the third year for the volunteer blitz. Students typically follow up on the experience by helping their community group throughout the school year. Organizations new to the START roster this year include the Animal Shelter, Bloomington Hospital Foundation, Bloomington Parks & Recreation, The Rise and WonderLab.

The following is a list of the organizations and what the students will be doing:

-- SPEA Backyard Wildlife Habitat program: gardening

-- Bloomington Animal Shelter/Animal Control Department: cleaning animal kennels

-- Bloomington Hospital Foundation: assisting with preparation for the upcoming Hoosiers Outrun Cancer 5K Race/Walk

-- Bloomington Parks & Recreation Department: Crestmont Community Garden, gardening; Willie Streeter Community Garden, gardening; Allison Jukebox Community Center, washing cars used for Kids City Camp; Banneker Community Center, organizing library

-- Community Kitchen: preparing lunches

-- Harmony School: organizing and readying a classroom for the new school year

-- Hilltop Community Garden: gardening

-- Hoosier Hills Food Bank: organizing food packets for the elderly

-- Lake Griffey: trail maintenance

-- Middleway House: yard work

-- RISE transitional housing program: helping with yard work and reconditioning apartments

-- Shalom Community Center: preparing lunches and cleaning the children's play room

-- Sycamore Land Trust: woodland restoration

-- WonderLab: greeting visitors and assisting them with hands-on exhibits

For more information about START, contact Andrea Salzburg at