Aug 282007
 
Authors: Erik Myers

If kindness could be measured in dollars and cents, a few hours of service might seem like pocket change to those who sacrificed the semester’s first Saturday afternoon as part of CSU’s RamServe.

But coordinators estimate the 460 student and community volunteers provided about $25,000 in community service over the course of only three hours.

Only in its fourth year, RamServe, a community service event organized by the university at the start of each year, experienced its most successful run Aug. 18.

“Some of the students were a little weary of what we were doing,” said Brittany Eskridge, who organized a group to clean and groom horses at Denkai Animal Sanctuary in Fort Collins. “But once we started getting assigned our projects, everyone was just having a really good time out there.”

New students-freshmen and transfers-made up teams of volunteers that worked at more than 30 non-profit agencies in Fort Collins. Each hour of service is valued at about $18. Altogether, that’s $24,840.

Jen Johnson, RamServe coordinator, said the program was designed to meet the volunteer needs of the Fort Collins community, while exposing new students to the city in which they are now a part.

Johnson added that the program was valuable in giving new students a chance to connect to their fellow fresh-faced peers.

“One goal is to help first-year students get to know one another a little bit better and offer them an opportunity to do something positive together,” Johnson said.

Non-profit organizations such as Respite Care, Fort Collins Park Services, Habitat for Humanity, La Familia and the Environmental Learning Center coordinated with RamServe for volunteer services.

Bob Hand, a project manager with Habitat for Humanity, said he was impressed with the effort put forth by the 13 CSU volunteers on his site.

There, students and team leader Sara Gacnik worked through the afternoon, prepping and laying sod for a future Habitat project.

“They were a fun group to work with,” Hand said. “You could tell they were bonding through hard work and having fun.”

Senior reporter Erik Myers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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