Anteaters Take Action

Volunteers gathered to make do-it-yourself toys for cats and dogs living in local animal shelters for the first of three volunteer opportunities hosted by Anteaters in Action this quarter.

Approximately 85 people participated in the “Build-a-Toy” event hosted by ASUCI’s Anteaters in Action at UC Irvine’s Student Center Crescent Bay C and D on Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. An estimated 15 Anteaters in Action members and 70 volunteers made a little over 100 toys for the shelter animals.

“With a student undergraduate population of 22,216 students one can easily feel lost, but Anteaters in Actions provides a way for students to meet one another and do a good deed at the same time. Students can interact with other students who share similar interests with one another as well. Community service is an excellent way to build leadership and character and teamwork and every student on campus should be provided with these opportunities,” Anteaters in Action Assistant Commissioner Mandeep Kehal said.

Anteaters in Action, who work under ASUCI’s Office of Administrative Affairs, asked participants to bring old shirts and jeans to donate to the cause. At the event, volunteers used these materials, along with tennis balls provided by Anteaters in Action, to make pet toys. All toys made at the event were donated to Irvine Animal Care Center, Pet Rescue Center, OC Animal Care, the Seal Beach Animal Care Center and the Southern California Pomeranian Rescue.

“Build-a-Toy” was put on by Anteaters in Action’s Hunger and Homelessness Project Committee and Animals Project Committee.

On Sunday, Feb. 23, the Sustainability Project Committee and Children Project Committee hosted “Gardening For Kids Day” in Aldrich Park, near the Social Science Hall and Phoenix Grill, from 12 to 3 p.m.

Volunteers worked with kids from the local community to promote sustainability. Participants planted flowers and made fruit salads together.

“Community service allows students to give back to the very community that supports our institution,” Kehal said.

“I hope students are able to come out to at least one event this year and be able to see how easy and rewarding community service can be.”

The Veteran Project Committee and Senior Citizens Project Committee will be hosting “Letters of Gratitude” on Feb. 25 in Emerald Bay from 6 to 7 p.m. Centered around writing letters of gratitude to veterans and soldiers, the event will also feature a war veteran speaker.

“This is so that [volunteers] can feel that connection to [the letters] they’re working on,” ASUCI Vice President of Administrative Affairs Tony Tizcareño explained.

For each event, Tizcareño has been expecting to see around 50 volunteers and 15 to 20 Anteaters in Action members participate. All teams were expected to do outreach on their own.

Anteaters in Action project committees have been planning for these winter quarter events since their fall quarter volunteer events ended. The project committees were paired together based off how strong their events were in the fall quarter. The pairs were formed in hopes of bringing more attention to less popular project focuses by pairing them with more popular ones.

“I hope that they can see ASUCI as a resource, especially Anteaters in Action. The point is not to have competing events with different service organizations that already have great events… [it’s] to provide more events,” Tizcareño stated. “If we have time to give back, we should — we should work on that. There’s more to UCI than just our college degree.”