UCI Gives Back Again

Anteaters showed their support last week for students in local communities by devoting their time and efforts to volunteering in schools across Orange County.

An estimated 250 students participated in UCI’s second annual “UC I Give Back” last Wednesday. “Give Back” is UC Irvine’s largest student volunteering event where students volunteer to help out after school programs at various K-12 schools in Orange County. The event was organized by ASUCI’s Office of Administrative Affairs.

According to Administrative Affairs Chief of Staff, Dhara Waghela, the efforts of UCI students were well received by the kids that they helped.

“They loved it and they wanted us to come back. Some volunteers came back with drawings, including one girl who came back with 15 or 16 pieces of paper with drawings from the kids,” Waghela said.

The event began at 10 a.m. with a ceremony in Aldrich Park where volunteers gathered for a pre-event lunch and team-bonding sessions, including contributing to the “Why I give back” board.

Volunteers received free Subway sandwiches and t-shirts provided to ASUCI courtesy of Hospitality and Dining Services and The Hill, respectively.

UCI Students were sent to 48 local elementary, middle and high schools to staff after school events in collaboration with the Orange County division of the non-profit foundation Think Together, a group committed to providing underprivileged students with tools and support for their education.

Buses were on hand to drop off UCI students to the various schools across Orange County. Think Together operates at schools within the Orange, Tustin and Santa Ana Unified School Districts and the volunteers helped out with these programs by helping students with homework and playing games with kids from the various schools.

While the Office of Administrative Affairs planned for the event since summer and organized much of it, they also received help from the administration in executing their plans for organizing and setting up the event.

According to Waghela, members of ASUCI professional staff, the Office of the Vice Chancellor Student Affairs, were also helpful in organizing the event.

With the second event, Waghela hopes that “UC I Give Back” becomes a tradition for future UC Irvine cohorts.

“We hope we can make this a continuous event for UCI.”