A Reciprocal Relationship – Giving Back Enriches Students and Agencies Alike
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 27, 2013) — For the past 11 years the Monday before classes start at the University of Kentucky has been dedicated to one thing — service. UK FUSION, For Unity and Service in our Neighborhoods, is the Commonwealth’s largest single-day service event, with 1,000 students, faculty and staff participating in 2013.
The event serves as the kick off to participating in community service for UK students and introduces them to the Center for Community Outreach, part of the Center for Student Involvement, the hub for connecting students with service opportunities in Lexington, in Kentucky and across the globe.
In the 2012-13 academic year, UK students provided more than 95,921 hours of service to the community through the CCO, Greek organizations and UK Athletics. This summer, the CCO launched a new website, uky.volunteermatch.org, to not only help students connect with various service opportunities but also to allow them to track their participation in community service throughout their college careers.
For many students, their first connection with service in the Lexington community is through FUSION. They often times go back to those organizations or agencies they selected during FUSION sign-ups on Johnson Center field to continue serving the community — a meaningful connection for the student and organization alike.
Heather Lyons, executive director of the Living Arts and Science Center in Lexington, cannot imagine running the LASC without UK student volunteers.
“I don't know what we'd do without them that day,” Lyons said. “We have pages of work we need done and they knock it out in one day; we plan all year for their visit.”
“The timing of FUSION is great for us; we are finishing up a nine-week summer program that sees more than 1,200 children in the building that is open more than 60 hours per week,” she continued. “We look forward and plan for FUSION each year.”
“FUSION is a great opportunity for new and returning students to see various issues our community is facing and shows them how they can help,” said Hannah Huggins, president of LASC’s board of directors.
“I’m so thankful for students to come here,” Huggins said. “It warms my heart.”
To learn more about service opportunities at the University of Kentucky, visit getinvolved.uky.edu/cco. The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service. For more information about the CCO, visit getinvolved.uky.edu/cco. Connect with the CCO on Facebook here and on Twitter at twitter.com/ukcco.
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