More than 1,700 orange-clad volunteers from The University of Texas at El Paso plan to help dozens of the region’s nonprofit agencies to enhance the community during UTEP’s seventh annual Project MOVE on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016.
Teams of volunteers will go to approximately 60 sites around El Paso and nearby communities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to paint, clean, build, coach, landscape and do whatever else is necessary, said Ryan Holmes, Ed.D., assistant vice president for student support and the lead organizer of Project MOVE, which stands for Miner Opportunities for Volunteer Experiences.
The goal of Project MOVE is to encourage UTEP volunteers to venture off campus to learn more about the needs of different parts of the community and its residents. Participants fulfill the motto of “Working Together, Serving El Paso.”
“The scope of the need changes through the years, but there is always need,” Holmes said. “Project MOVE is the opportunity to nurture the concept of giving back, being involved and supporting our community. The projects change, but the desire to serve remains.”
The event will begin with a rally at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at UTEP’s Kidd Field.
Among the projects will be the refurbishing of Camp Pioneer, 3400 Girl Scout Lane in Sunland Park, New Mexico. UTEP will send 120 volunteers to help clean the lodge, trim the brush, and rebuild trails and fire pits around the 22-acre complex along with volunteers from the Yucca Council Boy Scouts of America.
The work will help prepare the campground for summer activities, said Army 1st Lt. Julio Diaz, a district executive with the Boy Scouts of America and a 2010 UTEP graduate. He also served as president of UTEP’s Student Government Association from 2008-09.
“It’s great to see the students giving back to the community and the scouting movement, which involves more than 4,500 youth (in the El Paso area),” said Diaz, who is stationed at Fort Bliss with the 410th Civil Defense Battalion.
Many of the volunteers registered through the CUE (Community University Engagement) at cue.utep.edu, a new effort by the University that uses technology to help match campus volunteers with community partners.
Project MOVE organizers praised the community organizations that create the opportunities for collaboration. Here are a few more examples of the projects that will be tackled this year.
- About 50 representatives from UTEP’s Military Student Success Center and the Military Student Association will help the Fort Bliss chapter of the USO to do spring cleaning inside its warehouse at 2408 Chaffee Road. This will include general clean up, heavy scrubbing and moving of heavy furniture. (Media interested in covering this project should contact Lucy Sanchez at 915-342-8470 to be escorted onto post.)
- Approximately 30 representatives from the Student Engagement and Leadership Center will prepare a plot of land for the Bowie High School Community Garden at 801 S. San Marcial. (The project is near the portable buildings on the Delta Drive side of the campus.)
- Eight volunteers will help about 70 youth ages 4-14 learn life skills and healthy habits through First Tee of Greater El Paso from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ascarate Golf Course, 6900 Delta. The first class involves about 16 children ages 4-6. The second class starts at 12:30 p.m. and is for the older students.
- Members of UTEP’s Club Zero Mathematics will help rearrange the storage room for Insights Museum, 521 Tays St. This project will involve general cleanup and the moving of old exhibits.
- Approximately 80 students from the Texas Nursing Student Association will interact with residents of SunRidge at Cambria, 1991 Saul Kleinfeld Drive, as well as do some landscaping work.
- Members of the College Republicans and the Pi Sigma Alpha national political science honor society Epsilon Epsilon chapter will help the American Red Cross with its fire preparedness campaign around the Moon City Park neighborhood in Socorro, Texas. This will include canvassing homes near the park, 10197 Calcutta Drive, to check or install home smoke detectors, and sharing fire safety information. Contact: Raquel Mena, 915-504-5308.
- Thirty UTEP volunteers will assist Rebuilding El Paso to paint fire-damaged interior walls and ceilings in three rooms of a home at 7501 Wilcox. They also will do some exterior painting and clean up the outside as necessary. The owners are two older sisters, one who has a disability.
What: The University of Texas at El Paso has organized more than 1,700 students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends to volunteer their services at approximately 60 sites as part of the seventh annual Project MOVE (Miner Opportunities for Volunteer Experiences), the University’s annual day of community service.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016
Where: Sites across the greater El Paso area