'Project Serve' helps U of G students stay connected while giving back to the community
Students enrolled at the University of Guelph are connecting with the community through short-term volunteering opportunities made possible through Project Serve.
The school-based program allows students to volunteer with local organizations that could use the help.
“We reach out to anyone in the community that is looking for extra hands and then we offer an opportunity to our students to leave the campus, come out, volunteer across Guelph-Wellington and give back to their community,” Helen Keen, University of Guelph local engagement coordinator said.
Project Serve’s single day events used to involve upwards of 300 people per year before the pandemic forced the program to break into smaller groups.
On Saturday, 15 students met at Priory Park Baptist Church to help clean the community garden as the growing season comes to an end.
“Our students are really excited to be working with their hands,” Keen said. “It’s currently mid term season at the university. So a lot of students are taking this as a break from studying, get outside and give back to the community.”
The student volunteers created compost piles that can be used next year, transferred strawberries to raised beds and prepared the orchard for the winter months.
“This is work that needs to be done and it’s very rewarding to help the community and to come back and see the things that grow after we’ve helped here,” Bee Keyes, a third year student said.
Project Serve has been around for more than 20 years with hundreds of students taking part.
For more information visit the Community Engagement Opportunities page on the University of Guelph website.