Lynx Day of Service has CU Denver give back
Volunteering engages students in local community
Lynx Day of Service, is an annual day of volunteering in the surrounding Denver community that connects CU Denver students to the community and emphasizes the importance of local engagement.
This semester’s day of service, which was on Sept. 21, offered food, fun, connections, and featured a total of seven different sites. In all, over 300 volunteers showed up, consisting of students (mainly from FYE classes), peer advocate leaders (PALs), staff, faculty, and alumni.
The Denver Dream Center, the largest group, consisted of over 200 volunteers. The center focuses on working with families in the Quigg Newton Housing Project and helps individuals transition back to society from incarceration. “They were so welcoming and appreciative of why we were there,” Apryl Gould, a freshman majoring in sports management, said.
Volunteers were split into several groups, where they cleaned up at the Dream Center office, cleaned housing and surrounding areas, and went to Columbus Park to play sports and listen to stories from the transitioning individuals. “We’re just here to have fun and love on the community,” Megan Barelli, who works for the Denver Dream Center, said.
Groundwork Denver, the second largest group, consisting of over 100 volunteers, is a non-profit organization that, according to their website, advocates for “equal access to a clean and healthy environment for everyone.” The volunteer group worked at one of Groundwork Denver’s several urban farms, providing general farm maintenance as well as harvesting.
The five other sites featured smaller groups.
With Denver Health Newborns in Need, the volunteers worked to package baby items and cash donations that had been collected throughout the year into “warm welcome” bags, which are provided at the hospital for new families that are struggling financially.
Volunteers also worked on a mural at the HIV programming space for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, as well as assembled safe sex kits that included condoms, lube, and informational brochures for clients at the center.
The National MS Society informed volunteers about the organization and the goals, and volunteers were able to organize storage and supply inventory.
Leading the fight on racial, climate, immigrant, and economic justice was Colorado People’s Alliance, where volunteers helped to organize the offices and helped with other tasks.
Finally, with Ronald McDonald House, volunteers completed basic housekeeping, helping to clean and disinfect houses provided for families to be near to their children being treated at local hospitals.
The Lynx Day of Service provided countless opportunities for volunteers. Volunteer Kathy Le, who is a second-year student PAL and biology pre-med major is on her third Lynx Day of Service. She explains, “I just want to continue serving the community with a big old group. Getting to know each other and just being supportive for one another and giving back to the community, I’ve enjoyed the experiences.”
Students can look forward for the next Lynx Day of Service in the spring and keep an eye out for information on the CU Community Engagement website.