Volunteers for CSUâ€™s annual Fall Clean Up plans on making record breaking numbers this year, as 1,100 volunteers set out with bags and rakes in hand this Saturday.
The event, which has taken place every fall since 2005, is a service students of CSU provide for the senior/disabled residents of Fort Collins who are unable to maintain their yards.
The project started with just 50 students servicing 24 homes. This year, over 1,100 students will provide lawn service for 160 homes.
CSUâ€™s Off-Campus Life office has partnered with United Way, a global community-improvement group, to target as many residents as possible.
â€œThe event is a great way for students to build relations with members of the Fort Collins community,â€ said Adrienne Battis, assistant director at the Off-Campus Life office. â€œThe feedback I get from residents is that they are in love with CSU students.â€
By building positive relations with their neighbors, CSU students will have an easier time discussing more difficult topics with them, such as noise complaints, Battis said.
Senior business administration major Cory Giltner, who has taken part in the event for the past two years with his fraternity, Kappa Sigma, regarded Fall Clean Up as a unique opportunity, recalling the first time he participated.
â€œWell the first time we went over to a retired ladiesâ€™ house and introduced ourselves as students of CSU, she just had us do basic things like raking leaves and pine needles,â€ Giltner said. â€œIt didnâ€™t take long, and it felt good to put a smile on her face.â€
The lady was so happy with the job Giltner and his fraternity had done that she asked them to come back the next year, Giltner said.
Giltner added that he believed fall clean up helped out quite a bit with school exposure to the community.
He thought that the next time a resident like the one he helped has a problem with one of their CSU student neighbors, they would be more inclined to go over and speak with them, rather than simply calling the police.
According to Battis, most volunteers belong to school groups, but they have several individuals who have volunteered their time, as it is â€œopen to everyone.â€
â€œEveryone Iâ€™ve talked to has had a positive experience,â€ Giltner.
Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.