National Volunteer Week took place during the week of April 16 – 21. Once again, the Volunteer Center and the Fellows hosted Volunteer Appreciation Week at UCLA to celebrate and recognize the people, organizations, and community service efforts that are making a difference in communities across Greater Los Angeles. The narrative of giving back is a part of UCLA’s identity and what it means to be a True Bruin. Students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni contribute countless hours each year to volunteer projects taking place in local communities. From helping the homeless to planting community gardens, the myriad of ways that Bruins make a difference is as diverse as the backgrounds of the volunteers themselves.
In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, the Volunteer Center took over Bruin Walk on Tuesday, April 17 to celebrate service and volunteerism on campus. From interactive activities and prize wheels to free swag and candy, the Volunteer Center Fellows wholeheartedly thanked volunteers for their dedication and hard work during the school year.
The Volunteer Center staff and Fellows created gift baskets filled with sweet treats, healthy snacks, and personal thank you cards to send to various campus partners. Starting Tuesday morning, the Fellows and Volunteer Center staff delivered these thoughtful goodies to campus departments and student organizations to show their appreciation for their help with service projects throughout the year. Some of the deserving groups included the Community Service Commission, the Community Programs Office, and the Bruin Resource Center.
Towards the end of the week, the Center and the Fellows celebrated volunteers and those who actively participated in campus service organizations with an exciting picnic in the center of campus at Wilson Plaza. Guests were invited to jump around in an enormous inflatable obstacle course, cradle therapy puppies, eat delicious pizza, and grab free UCLA Volunteer Center appreciation stickers!
On April 21, UCLA One Bus, One Cause volunteers ended the week by helping Hope Gardens Family Center in their mission to provide a transitional housing campus and sanctuary space to single women and children experiencing homelessness. Volunteers spent Earth Day on the beautiful 77-acre campus where they assisted in outdoor beautification projects and organized communal and recreational spaces.