Rebecca Dickson, Reporter
As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, the Service Learning Department will offer a multitude of options to get their hands dirty and to make connections throughout the school year.
Becky Anderson, head of the Service Learning Department, has created several volunteer opportunities for students. Each quarter, there will be at least six sponsored volunteer events that students and faculty can participate in. These opportunities are provided to not only benefit the community but to benefit students as well.
“We want our students to be active citizens,” Anderson said. “Our hope is that students, faculty and staff can get out and volunteer side by side.”
This year’s first volunteer activity, Parking Lots to Paradise, calls for students to take a “boring eyesore of a parking lot” and replace it with greenery for the community to enjoy.
The first step in the project was completed Oct. 1, which was to dig up the cement and put garden soil in its place. The actual planting and completion of Parking Lots to Paradise will take place on Make a Difference Day, Oct. 22.
The event is sponsored by the Pierce Conservation District, which will pay for all materials used in order to restore the parking lot.
“They need boots on the ground and hands to help,” Anderson said.
The Service Learning Department plans to have a multitude of other options for students.
On Nov. 4, students will have an opportunity to become a farmer for a day with Mother Earth Farms. The food harvested will go to Pierce County Food Banks.
Mother Earth Farms is run by the Emergency Food Network. According to the charity’s website, each time community members walk into a food program, Emergency Food Network ensures they walk out with enough food for nine meals.”
On Nov. 5, students will be able to volunteer to restore Bradley Lake Park. This project is part of Green Puyallup Day. Once again with the Puyallup Conservation District, students can help restore the local park.
The last volunteer event of the quarter will happen on Dec. 2. Students will have the opportunity to work with the Emergency Food Network, working within their Lakewood warehouse. Students will take packages of 50-pound bags of cooking staples such as beans and oatmeal and convert them into one pound bags for families to take home.
Students who volunteer at one event will receive a Pierce 50th anniversary T-shirt. Students who volunteer at five events will get a water bottle for their participation. Interested members of the community are asked to sign up at pierce.ctc.edu/go/ service learning.
For students who are unable to attend a volunteer event, there are still ways they can give back. In November, students can donate soap and dish soap to the Helping Hands House.
Helping Hands House provides housing to families who are in need. They provide all of the supplies families need when they move in, including furniture, food and cleaning supplies.
In order to support this mission, Pierce College will run a dish soap drive. Students can donate through the bins which will be placed on campus.
“It’s something that will bring new perspective to your life,” Anderson said. “This is what we are about: making a student a holistic student.”
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