Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Students spend Saturday morning volunteering in the community

Students across campus woke up early Saturday to volunteer throughout the Tuscaloosa community at Hands On Tuscaloosa’s third annual community service day.

More than 200 students worked at seven locations Saturday morning, contributing to various projects organized by the Community Service Center – from painting a house to refurbishing Holt Elementary’s baseball field.

Paige Bussanich, a senior majoring in psychology and the student director of civic engagement and outreach at the Community Service Center, helped to coordinate the event. Bussanich said this year’s Hands on Tuscaloosa was the biggest in the event’s history.

“A ton of people showed up this morning to go out in the community and donate their time for a special cause,” Bussanich said. “It’s just so special to see so many people sacrificing their Saturday mornings, their time to sleep in, to make a statement to the community. Hands on Tuscaloosa lets the community know that University students are here to help and that we are a part of this community.”

Natalie Goodwin, a junior majoring in math and finance, agreed with Bussanich’s sentiments.

“I was so impressed to see so many passionate students come out and volunteer so early on the first Saturday of the semester,” Goodwin said. “I think it says a lot about the character of the students at this University and how volunteering matters to us.”

Goodwin is a first time volunteer with Hands on Tuscaloosa. She spent her morning working at the Al’s Pals children’s carnival at McKenzie Courts, making hats out of old newspapers.

“The highlight of my day was helping one little girl make a hat for her mother’s birthday present,” Goodwin said. “I volunteered this morning so I could put a smile on someone’s face, and that’s what I did. I had a great day.”

Other activities at the children’s festival included hula hooping, fortune telling, a ring toss and a ping pong ball shooting competition. Children competed all morning for small prizes such as bubbles, candy and bouncy balls. Following the festivities, all children and their families were invited to enjoy a free breakfast.

In Alberta, another group of students helped clear tornado debris with the Volunteer Reception Center. Senior Andrew McPhail, an assistant director for Beat Auburn Beat Hunger, volunteered with the group.

“Our volunteers went to a house and some adjoining lots a few blocks down and did some tornado debris cleanup and cleared logs, building materials, brush and other household items,” McPhail said. “There is a lot more debris in Alberta than I thought there would be. It’s crazy seeing trees and other debris scattered around from something that happened over a year ago.”

McPhail said he was glad to have freshmen in his group so that they could see and experience the aftereffects of the tornado, even if they weren’t here for it.

“Hands on Tuscaloosa gives a chance for many students, many of them freshmen, to go out and serve their community,” McPhail said. “Many of our volunteers haven’t lived in Tuscaloosa very long, but they are already eager to go out and serve. That was really cool to see.”

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