Through the City of Fort Collins’ Adopt-a-Neighbor program, CSU
students and Fort Collins residents can lend a helping hand to a
community member in need.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet someone in your neighborhood
and possibly someone from another generation,” said Wendy Hartzell,
administrative assistant at the City of Fort Collins Neighborhood
Resources Office. “It’s a way to give something back to the
community that doesn’t take a lot of time.”
Last year, approximately 12 CSU student volunteered in the
Adopt-a-Neighbor program. Amy Fox, a sophomore business/finance
major, participated last year and is planning on helping out a
neighbor in need again this year.
“I think the Adopt-a-Neighbor program is a good way to link the
college campus to the Fort Collins community,” Fox said. “We treat
the community members like family.”
Volunteers assist Fort Collins residents with lawn-mowing,
leaf-raking, snow-shoveling and other yard work. Many of the
residents who receive the volunteer services are physically unable
to do the work and/or cannot pay to have it done, Hartzell
“The goal is to keep these people in the home for safety reasons
and to comply with city ordinances that require driveways to be
shoveled, for example,” Hartzell said.
If a Fort Collins community member needs help with yard work,
the Neighborhood Resources Office will send 15 to 20 letters to
neighbors around the resident’s home.
“If no one is available, the resident may be matched with a CSU
student who is willing to drive to the resident’s home,” Hartzell
Once the matches have been made, Adopt-a-Neighbor volunteers and
their assigned resident meet throughout the year as yard work is
“We encourage volunteers to stick with the resident for the
whole season,” Hartzell said.
Kelly Conright, a junior business management major, will
volunteer in the Adopt-a-Neighbor program this year and has
participated in a similar program in the past.
“It was really nice knowing that these people really appreciated
your help,” Conright said. “It was a good way to show (the
community member) that you really do care.”
Anyone can participate in the Adopt-a-Neighbor program, however
volunteers younger 18 must have parental consent. Applications are
available on the City of Fort Collins Web site, www.fcgov.com.
Hartzell said that not only do the residents benefit from the
Adopt-a-Neighbor program but the volunteers also reap rewards.
“I think that any time you do something for the community you
feel good about yourself,” Hartzell said. “The residents are just