Project MOVE organizers plan to put a Centennial twist on the annual community service effort during The University of El Paso’s 100th anniversary in 2014.
Program leaders aim to surpass last year’s effort that involved 70 job sites and 1,400 participants by pushing for 100 job sites and 2,014 volunteers for the March 1 event. Organizers have begun additional outreach to encourage more nonprofit community partners to register their projects by the Jan. 31 deadline.
Through the years, Project MOVE (Miner Opportunities for Volunteer Experiences) workers have landscaped gardens, painted skateparks, fixed bicycles, organized food pantries, cleaned offices and arroyos, repaired homes and playground equipment, built bed frames and websites, worked and played with children including those with disabilities, made blankets for children, made homes accessible for people with disabilities, spruced up a cemetery, taught golf, visited hospital patients, translated for medical students, and collected canned and nonperishable items for the needy. The work usually is done from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m.
“The community and agencies within it have been instrumental to the success of UTEP and its students for the past 100 years,” said Ryan Holmes, associate dean of students and the event’s lead organizer. “The more community partners we have, the more volunteer opportunities exist. I think there is no better time than the present to catapult UTEP and the community into the next 100 years of service.”
The large-scale day of service is tied to the University’s efforts to give back to the community, which is home to a vast majority of its students, faculty, staff and alumni. Those involved have said the experience broadens perspectives of citizenship, leadership, community needs, civic engagement and the basic satisfaction of helping others.
Since the program launched in 2010, UTEP’s Project MOVE volunteers have logged approximately 17,000 hours to fulfill its promise of “Working Together, Serving El Paso.”
For more information about becoming a community partner, visit projectmove.utep.edu.
Jessica Molinar Muñoz is the director of communications for UTEP's Centennial Office.