More than 1,500 Miner volunteers will roll up their sleeves to help nonprofit agencies throughout the Paso del Norte region on Saturday, March 4, 2017, as part of The University of Texas at El Paso’s eighth annual Project MOVE.
The volunteers, a combination of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, will work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at approximately 60 job sites during the University’s annual day of community service. They will build, coach, clean, paint, landscape, mentor, organize, plant gardens, and much more.
The main goals of Project MOVE, which stands for Miner Opportunities for Volunteer Experiences, are to serve the community, and to educate the volunteers about the community’s various needs, the agencies that try to fill those needs, and the people who are served.
“Participation in Project MOVE better prepares our students to be more well-rounded community members,” said Ofelia Dominguez, director of UTEP’s Union Services and lead organizer for this year’s event. “In some cases, the students will be introduced to a new part of the community and be taken outside their comfort zone. The experience will help them grow as people. It will make them more confident of what they can do.”
The day will start with a pep rally at UTEP’s Kidd Field at about 9 a.m. The orange-clad volunteers will be dismissed around 9:30 a.m. to go to their job sites.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of projects that will be tackled during Project MOVE 2017.
Approximately 10 members of Chi Sigma Iota will help paint a conference room at GiGi’s Playhouse El Paso, 960 Chelsea. The volunteers also will build heavy-duty storage shelves to be used at the playhouse, which provides free educational and therapeutic programming for individuals with Down Syndrome, their families and the community.
Members from UTEP’s Bhutanese Students Organization and Union Services will take on two jobs at the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center, 715 N. Oregon. One team will dust and clean the interior of the gallery walls and the storage area. A second group will catalog the museum’s extensive collection of books that cover different aspects of the Holocaust. This job is needed for the center to advance its plan of creating a library resource for the community.
About 240 volunteers will assist Rebuilding Together El Paso at 11 job sites around the region. One example is the Lower Valley home of Mercedes Neidhart at 8501 Tigris. The Rebuilding group helps property owners with limited incomes who have fallen on hard times to rehabilitate their homes into a livable condition.
The Tigris home had fallen into disrepair after the death of Neidhart’s husband. The volunteers from the Office of International Programs will use donated materials to paint two bathrooms, prepare and paint three interior doors, patch holes in the kitchen floor, and use dirt to level a front yard walkway.
Approximately 50 University volunteers from the Multilingual Exchange and Teacher Association and the National Society of Leadership and Success will help upgrade an urban garden at the El Paso Leadership Academy,1918 Texas Ave. Participants will landscape the garden and add mulch. They also will construct shelves that will allow for more plants to grow.