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Become engaged with Give Back Week

Monday will kick off the first annual Give Back Week in the UC lower lounge with several events and opportunities for the University of Miami community to receive information from organizations on how to volunteer and give back to the local community.

Dr. Donn Tilson’s public relations campaign class developed the idea for Give Back Week.

The class based the structure of the event according to CanesFest, a major event that promotes freshmen involvement in the fall semester. Give Back Week aims to allow students, faculty and other volunteers to choose which organizations fit with their needs.

Natalia Yepes, a student organizer, views the event as a historic opportunity that will offer something for everyone.

“Monday through Wednesday we have themes for the organizations represented. We categorized them in this way so that each person could find their preference and give back doing something they enjoy,” Yepes said.

Monday will feature social service organizations like the Clinton Global Initiative which sponsored a homeless assistance center in South Miami.

Arts and culture associations will get the Tuesday spot and environmentally-oriented organizations will occupy the space Wednesday.

All days will last from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The week will end in a celebration called “I’m Engaged” with food, live music and raffles at 11 a.m. Friday at the Rock. The event’s message  is that the “engagement” will exist between the person pledging their service and the charity they have agreed to assist.

“Now, more than ever, especially with the way the economy is, charities are in desperate need of our help and we hope people will see this need and get engaged,” Tilson said.

The phrase “I’m Engaged” will be printed on T-shirts that will be worn in support by President Donna Shalala, Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Whitely and Sebastian the Ibis, as well as all who participate.

Tilson’s senior-level class is working in cooperation with the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development to not only use this event to strengthen their portfolios, but also  to leave a legacy behind after they graduate from UM.

“For such a long time, it’s not been the easiest situation to find out about volunteer programs,” Yepes said. “Now, we’re hoping to provide a chance for students to find out about how they can help at one time in one location.”

According to Tilson, the goals of the week extend beyond the booths set up in the UC.

“It is our intention that students and teachers all over campus will start thinking of other ways they can give back,” Tilson said. “During this week we hope that teachers from all disciplines will get students talking about ways to give back. For instance, architecture students might consider designing and building homes for Habitat for Humanity.”

After people start discussing ways they can help the community, Tilson believes that the actions of his class will serve as a Give Back Week blueprint for many years to come.

Colleen Dourney may be contacted at cdourney@themiamihurricane.com.

Infobox: Become a fan of Give Back Week UM on Facebook to get updates on all of the events and information.

Mon, Apr 05th, 2010: Social Services Agencies

11 a.m.-2 p.m.
UC Lower Lounge

Tue, Apr 06th, 2010: Arts & Culture Agencies

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
UC Lower Lounge

Wed, Apr 07th, 2010: Environmental Agencies

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
UC Lower Lounge

Wed, Apr 07th, 2010: Give Back Week Goes Hollywood

6:30-9 p.m., LC 120, “Entertaining Angels”
Award-winning film, featuring Moira Kelly and Martin Sheen, about a woman fighting for social justice on the streets of New York City.

Fri, Apr 09th, 2010: Give Back Rally on the Rock

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

March 31, 2010

Reporters

Colleen Dourney

Contributing Writer


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