By Kandyce Hall |Staff Writer|
It was a day to lend a hand.
More than 280 participants from CSUSB fanned out to 15 local organizations that service the disadvantaged in San Bernardino.
“This was a great chance for coyotes to give back to the city of San Bernardino,” said Christa Bowers, member of Community University Partnerships.
CSUSB’s first annual Coyote Cares Day was held Saturday, April 27 as a part of National Volunteer Week.
Coyote Cares Day, an event created and planned by Community University Partnerships at CSUSB, was dedicated to volunteer service within the City of San Bernardino.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni began arriving on campus at 8 a.m. to check in and grab breakfast before they met up with their volunteer groups and head out to their assigned service location.
“Students will serve at a variety of organizations that need ongoing volunteer assistance,” said Diane Podolske, director of community university partnership in the event press release. “We have planned a fun and inspiring day for our students to encourage their commitment to service and to promote community pride in San Bernardino.”
After breakfast, volunteers were loaded into buses and small vans with supplies needed for their given service locations.
Students Fidel Contreras, Christina Taylor and Michelle Rivera volunteered at the SOAR Charter Academy, where they helped with the gardening and painted murals.
Some of the artwork included a map of California, as well as outdoor games for kids who attend the academy. “It was so much fun,” Taylor and Rivera said. “It didn’t even seem like we were working at all.”
Students Rebecca Rasmussen, Jennie Pirolo and Natalia Chavez shared their experience helping The Salvation Army. “We scrubbed the kitchen from ceiling to the floor,” Rasmussen said.
All three ladies agreed that the service they did was very much appreciated by the center. “It was great to see how excited they were to have our help,” Pirolo and Chavez said.
Another group of students volunteered at the Latino Health Collaborative where a health carnival was available for the local community.
The carnival reached out to the Latino community and allowed people to get different health screenings such as dental and more. Student Giovanni Escalera, a volunteer at the collaborative, helped keep the carnival flowing.
“I enjoyed getting to meet new people and helping people that were in need,” Escalera said.
After three hours of service, volunteers were welcomed back to campus and invited to grab lunch from the Wienerschnitzel food truck and play various games. Popcorn and snow cones were also provided as music played, courtesy of Coyote Radio.
President Tomás Morales stopped by during the event to thank all the volunteers for their services to the community.
Community University Partnerships’ Bowers and Bryant Fairley were recognized for their hard work in planning Coyote Cares Day.