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CSR Volunteers prepare for World AIDS Day

Reporter

Published: Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2014 14:01

World AIDS Day

Photo by J.Shearer/ The Gateway

Navy veteran and student leader for the Veterans Day service project Tyler Honcik, center, and other UNO and MCC students put together various gifts for military personnel.

With the 2013 fall semester coming to an end , so is University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Office of Civic and Social Responsibility (CSR) volunteer service event schedule.

Last Monday, the campus organization invited students to the Milo Bail Student Center fireplace lounge, where a variety of Veterans Day activities were available, involving the assembly of various care packages to be distributed to past and present military service personnel.

Throughout the morning and early afternoon, students assembled treat bags, tied together past CSR event t-shirts to make blankets for homeless veterans and penned letters to service members and their families.

Civic and Social Responsibility Graduate Student Coordinator Julie Smith reported “great success” from the day’s activities. Nearly 200 treat bags were prepared and, with the coordination of student leader and Navy veteran Tyler Honcik,  sent off to a deployed naval ship for the troops to enjoy. Honcik also recruited a local second grade class to draft supportive letters; and dozens more letters were written by volunteer UNO and Metropolitan Community College students throughout the day.

While the different Veterans Day activities weren’t overly-difficult, graduate student Hauwa Muibi said the simple acts of kindness can go a long way. She wrote a few letters, including one to the parents of a soldier currently serving overseas.

“It’s nice to hear words of encouragement,” Muibi said. “Sometimes that’s all it takes to [make someone’s day better].”

Along with the treats and letters, several t-shirt blankets were put together, and Smith said that more are to be created during CSR’s final service project for the semester next week.

On Nov. 22, the university is observing World AIDS Day with a morning of service activities.

Along with additional blankets being made, a number of off-site events will be happening. Volunteers will be transported to the Project Harmony and Project Kindle site where they will make fleece blankets and tie-dye shirts for children. Project Harmony provides support to children who are either victims or suspected victims of abuse and neglect, and Project Kindle is a camp for kids affected by HIV and AIDS.

Other service opportunities are to be available at Lauritzen Gardens, a continued partner of CSR and its neighboring Kenefick Park if outdoor conditions permit. Along with cleaning up and beautifying the grounds, volunteers will assemble wildlife ornaments to hang around the grounds for the upcoming holiday season.

Thousands of service hours have been logged throughout CSR’s volunteer projects this semester, and Smith is hoping that their last event will end the semester with a bang.

“We already have a really great response so far,” Smith said. “It’s sure to be a good experience for our volunteers and those we’re going to help.”

To register for the World AIDS Day service opportunities and for more information about the Office of Civic and Social Responsibility, call 402-554-4083, email unoserve@unomaha.edu or visit unomaha.edu/scls. All service hours can be logged and tracked through the MavSYNC system.

 

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