National Volunteer Week took place during Week 3 of Spring quarter – April 13-17, 2015 – and once again, the Volunteer Center hosted Volunteer Appreciation Week at UCLA to celebrate and recognize the people, organizations, and community service efforts that make a difference in communities across Greater Los Angeles. The narrative of giving back is a part of UCLA’s identity. Students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni contribute countless hours each year to volunteer projects taking place in local communities. From mentoring children to building school gardens, the myriad of ways that Bruins make a difference is as diverse as the backgrounds of the volunteers themselves.
Bruins were invited to participate in Volunteer Appreciation Week at UCLA by signing up for service projects, sharing a volunteer experience on the Volunteer Center’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), or through any of the below service activities designed both to appreciate those who have been involved and to inspire others to serve.
Monday, April 13
The Volunteer Center held court in Royce Quad from 10 am to 2 pm for a celebration of service to kick off Volunteer Appreciation Week! Popcorn and prizes were given out to thank volunteers for their dedication and hard work during the 2014-2015 school year. The Center was joined by recent Mongelli Award winner Project WILD, the Community Service Commission, The Bruin Experiment, Bruin Caucus, and Westwood Village Improvement Association.
Tuesday, April 14
Service Movie Night on the Hill
To celebrate the second day of Volunteer Appreciation Week, the Volunteer Center hosted a screening of the documentary, Food Chains, in the De Neve Auditorium. Directed by Sanjay Rawal, Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. The film focuses on a group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida who are revolutionizing farm labor. Food Chains premiered at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival. The film’s Executive Producers include Eva Longoria and Eric Schlosser.
Wednesday, April 15
Volunteer Health Day
Though great volunteers are often thinking of others, it is important to maintain one’s own health and well-being. On April 15th from 9:30am – 1pm, the Volunteer Center Fellows treated students along Bruin Walk to personal hygiene items, snacks, bubbles and a lot of puppy love to relieve stress and bring joy to campus.
Thursday, April 16
Operation Gratitude Letter Writing
The purpose of an Operation Gratitude letter is to let members of the military know that their service is appreciated. On April 16, Bruins were encouraged to help UCLA honor those who serve by writing and dropping off a letter at one of the on-campus boxes or organizing a group writing event. Operation Gratitude has sent over one million care packages since 2003, and UCLA is the first large-scale university that the organization has paired with to increase these efforts.
Friday, April 17
Student Leader Appreciation
On Friday, April 17, the Center recognized its student leaders, the Volunteer Center Fellows, Student Committee for Project SPELL, Project SPELL tutors, and those students who have served on program committees throughout the year with the Center with a formal reception in the courtyard of the Fowler Museum.
Saturday, April 18
Dance Marathon 2015 at UCLA
On Saturday, April 18th, the Pediatric AIDS Coalition at UCLA (PAC) hosted their 14th annual Dance Marathon in Pauley Pavilion at UCLA for the second year in a row. The event featured campus unity, entertainment, energy, and education; dancers, moralers, and volunteers all taking a stand for a cause for the kids and for a cure. Bruins and Volunteer Center volunteers joined the 7000+ who have completed the challenge of standing for 26 hours to date, literally taking a stand in the fight against Pediatric HIV/AIDS.