UMW students huddled around the University Center on a crisp morning last weekend for a common cause – Into the Streets, organized by UMW’s Community Outreach and Resource (COAR) program.
Together, 147 volunteers spruced up local parks, helped out at a community fair for Fredericksburg Area HIV/AIDS Support Services, supported Downtown Greens and the SPCA, and tackled other projects.
“I think events like this are significant for people to be a part of,” UMW graduate student Libby Simmons said of the annual student-led event. “It reminds me to ask myself how I can give back to the places and people around me.”
Simmons helped the team by driving and checking on sites, getting a feel for all the service opportunities COAR offers. “I’m excited to see the UMW community come together and serve Fredericksburg – a place that so many of us call home,” she said. “You gain a greater appreciation and love for a place and the people who inhabit it.”
Christina Eggenberger, director of service for the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service, helps COAR staff find non-profit organizations to partner with. “You see a different side of a community when you volunteer,” Eggenberger said. “You transition from a visitor to a member of the community.”
This year, COAR partnered with many new organizations, filling the Into the Streets event with 14 community service options.
Student Staff Director Megan Turner, who volunteers often, hopes to work with children from low-income families in the future. “I think that this is a really good way for students to get that connection and realize that we are a part of a larger community,” she said.
For more information on getting involved, visit COAR.