Students across campus got their service on from Sept. 10 to 12 at Lauritzen Gardens.
Students made animal-safe ornaments with fruit loops and string. On campus students made thank-you cards for police officers and firefighters throughout the city, and t-shirt rugs for Habitat for Humanity.
“I hang out with people I like and know and do ‘funtivities’,” said James Van Ormer, a freshman from Omaha.
Van Ormer was one of the dozen individuals working on t-shirt rugs around 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11. He and his peers were elbows deep in a rainbow of cotton.
T-shirt rugs are made with snow fence and recycled t-shirts that are cut into tiny strips. Students weave strips of cloth through mesh-like plastic to make a small throw rug.
The t-shirt rugs were made for Habitat for Humanity’s Restore. There are two locations–one in the shopping plaza on the corners of 108th and Maple Streets, the other on south 24th Street, one block south of Leavenworth Street.
Turner Morgan, Volunteer Services Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity couldn’t be more impressed with the partnership he has with UNO.
“We don’t see that from other colleges…[UNO] makes service a priority,” Morgan said.
Morgan says every March Habitat for Humanity looks forward to working with the Office of Civic and Social Responsibility on its “7 Days of Service” event. Habitat for Humanity also partners with UNO’s Summer Works Employment Academy by providing opportunities for youth to be involved in serving their community.
Mark Coffin, Veteran Outreach Coordinator, said that UNO’s chapter of Student Veterans of America, as well as students in ROTC, have both participated in the Vet Build Program that happens every November.
Serving Habitat for Humanity is one example of 60 Minutes of Service, an event that happens every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Office of Civic and Social Responsibility in the Community Engagement Center.
Other opportunities to get involved with service will be presented during the Fall Volunteer Fair on Wednesday Sept. 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Habitat for Humanity will have a representative there. So will dozens of other non-profits including Lauritzen Gardens, Special Olympics Nebraska, Women’s Center for Advancement, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Open Door Mission, Keep Omaha Beautiful and Urban League of Nebraska.
The goal for this year’s Fall Volunteer Fair is 200 student participants, said Alex Bauer, Volunteer Connections Coordinator for the Office of Civic and Social Responsibility. The event is one of many that the program will hold this year.