Volunteerism at the College Level: UT Project


There are many reasons why you shouldn't do service work: You don't get paid, the work is tedious, and you get absolutely nothing in return. It's not rocket science. It just seems that way because there's always an excuse not to do it.

Who wants to be in 100 degree weather helping repair someone's home? Or what about spending a day in a soup kitchen serving people you don't know?

We're all human. Service work isn't the best way to spend a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. It's a fact. But there is one nonprofit organization that makes service work much more than that.

The Project, one of the largest one-day service events in the nation by students and for students was born in 1999. More than 15 years after its inception, the service event housed at the University of Texas at Austin has seen generations of students, faculty, staff, and alumni participate in service projects across the community averaging more than 2000 volunteers each year. With a number of awards for community service, collaboration with universities, business, and members of the greater community, the Project is a true model for volunteerism at the college level.

And while the idea behind the Project may sound perfect on paper, it is not an easy event to pull off.

Think about it -- you are given the task to get 2000 college students from one of the top universities in the country in one of the most diverse cities in the nation to take a Saturday out of their year to go out to the community at eight in the morning for a minimum of four hours, to built, plant, or paint old and new projects in the community. And one more thing -- you have absolutely no money to help you.

This kind of task is what event organizers, party planners, or people in similar career fields are experienced, trained, and paid to do.

But the 20-30 students who plan the Project have no professional experience constructing a service event from the bottom up. It is something they decide to do on their own.

While it is a time consuming process, these students are active participants in other organizations across the University of Texas (i.e Omega Delta Phi Fraternity Inc., Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. ) and maintain full time jobs and internships while giving time to this service organization.

As the countdown to the Project is in place, visit here to learn more about the organization.

testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today! No thanks.