As a member of the Urban Leadership Program, junior Alli Tellez is expected to take on a community service project. Last year, she took part in a food drive for the Metro State Food Bank with a couple of other departments.
This year, she supersized her effort.
“I wanted to create my own service project…but I wanted to make this one even bigger.”
Student leaders at the Urban Leadership Program and Campus Recreation at Auraria partnered with the Center for Urban Connections to coordinate the food and clothing drive last week. The effort, organized by Tellez and senior Patrick Seamars, was just one of several volunteer efforts by Metro State students, faculty and staff to give back to the community and the campus.
They donated food, collected food, packed food, and distributed food in advance of Thanksgiving. Students in the TRiO High School Upward Bound program volunteered at a massive food giveaway in Denver on Saturday, Nov. 19. Last Thursday, students filled boxes at Food Bank of the Rockies. College administrators have launched an ongoing effort to fill the shelves at the Metro State Food Bank. And next month, members of the Metro State Precision Flight Team will fly in donations to three rural Colorado communities.
The goal of Tellez’s ambitious food and clothing drive was to collect one item from every student, faculty member and staffer on the Auraria Campus.
That’s an estimated 40,000-plus donations.
It didn’t work out to that many but it was still a success. “It’s amazing. We got so many clothes it isn’t funny,” Tellez says. The clothes will go to the Denver Rescue Mission and the 300 or so pounds of food to the Food Bank of the Rockies, which supplies more than 1,100 hunger-relief programs.
Last Thursday, the Food Bank of the Rockies got even more support from the College. Thirty-one volunteers recruited by Chef Jackson Lamb, director of culinary management in the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events, filled 1,100 boxes with cereal, powdered milk, rice, dried beans and other staples that were picked up on Saturday by people in need.
Students and staff from the TRiO High School Upward Bound program pitched in at the Epworth Foundation food giveaway. Three city blocks on Bruce Randolph Avenue were closed off and a giant assembly line took shape. Provisions hauled in by trucks were loaded onto a conveyor system, where volunteers packed the items into boxes. More than 8,000 needy families benefitted from the effort.
This is the second year TRiO students have volunteered for the Epworth project. “One of our goals is to give them as much community service and volunteerism exposure as possible,” says Paulette McIntosh, program director for TRiO.
The 260 or so members of the Metro State Council of Administrators held a food drive last summer for the College’s food bank and are continuing that effort. Members are encouraged to bring a food item to the group’s monthly meetings.
And next month, the flight team will be taking off for Montrose, Trinidad and Burlington to deliver food and toys collected by the Colorado Aviation Business Association. The team is asking flight clubs to donate 13 airplanes for the effort on Dec. 3 or Dec. 4, weather permitting, or offer discount leasing rates. If that doesn’t work out, “we’re planning worst-case scenario—we’re paying for them out of our pockets, hoping we get a donation,” says Assistant Professor Tanya Gatlin of the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science and head coach of the flight team.
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