Among the many reasons to be proud of Oregon State University is the number of alumni who have already stepped up to take part in this Saturday’s “Community Day of Service” (May 22) for projects spread across 13 cities in five states and one location halfway around the world — Qatar!
In only its second-annual incarnation, the event has drawn such a warm response from OSU graduates that it has expanded substantially beyond last year’s six locations: Some 350 volunteers have already registered to participate, and more are signing on as the weekend approaches.
“The Community Day of Service will bring Beaver Nation together for one common cause – enhancing our communities,” said Lezli Goheen, ’93, of Portland, the lead volunteer and chair of the program for the OSUAA board of directors. “That’s a pretty great way to show we’re ‘Powered by Orange.’ ”
Alumni groups taking part in this year’s volunteer extravaganza include teams in the Oregon cities of Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Medford, Ontario, Portland and Prineville. Additional teams will focus on projects in Boise, Idaho; Honolulu, Hawaii; Seattle; and the California cities of Newport Beach, San Francisco and San Jose. There will even been a group working at a fundraiser for the Animal Welfare Society in Qatar, the small Arab emirate in the Persian Gulf.
This year’s projects include street tree landscaping, trail building, cleaning and painting at a Boys and Girls Club and re-packing food from a letter carriers’ food drive. The Kai Makana Ocean Education Project undertaken by Beaver Nation volunteers in Hawaii will include a five-minute outrigger canoe ride to an island where volunteers will remove invasive species and restore habitat around an authentic native fishing village.
Portland volunteers will help paint benches in the South Park Blocks at Shemanski Fountain. There is even a project on a bike path in Eugene – home to many proud Beavers.
There’s still time to get involved, too. Details on locations and projects along with online registration can be found at www.osualum.com/volunteer_day. (Pre-registration is required.)
“We’ve created smaller-scale service opportunities around special events before, like bowl game trips where our alumni and President Ed Ray have volunteered in places like soup kitchens or playground clean ups,” said Jeff Todd. “Along the way, we’ve learned something special about the OSU family – it’s made up of people who really appreciate the meaning of service to community. It’s very humbling this year to see so many of them ready to step forward and give of themselves in this biggest day of service yet.”