Knights Give Back, UCF’s annual day of volunteer service to the community, will celebrate a decade of commitment Saturday.
Through the years, volunteers have provided about $600,000 in services to the community on the annual day to give back, said Iqra Bhatti, the student coordinator for this year’s event at about two dozen venues around Central Florida.
This year about 1,300 to 1,500 students, alumni, faculty and staff members are expected to sign up to serve, she said, adding to the already 22,000 hours of work donated to help local individuals and agencies the past nine years.
“We like to say at Volunteer UCF that we have an impact on the community just by taking the day to provide for others what we have for ourselves,” said Bhatti, an Orlando senior majoring in health science.
Projects are divided into different categories: health, environment, education and literacy, hunger and homelessness, youth and mentoring, and animal awareness. Volunteers should meet at CFE Arena on campus by 7:30 a.m. so they can be transported to the various work sites such as Clean the World, Mustard Seed of Central Florida, Center for Independent Living, and Oakland Nature Preserve. The event is scheduled to end at 1 p.m.
Volunteers can do things as varied as planting trees and shrubs, packing shelf-stable meals, cleaning tombstones, making cards for hospitalized children, recycling hygiene products, and numerous other projects.
Something new for volunteers this year will be a “field day” of games in the CFE Arena for children with autism. Volunteer UCF is working with The Autism Society of Greater Orlando to organize the day.
If you’re registering a group of at least 10 to work at the same site, organizers ask that you sign up everyone at the same time.
Knights Give Back is just one part of Volunteer UCF’s projects. The group has a variety of events and programs throughout the year for students to gain knowledge and experience, and connect with volunteer opportunities of their interest. VUCF works with more than 200 community organizations to expand the agency’s outreach.
“Why do we do this? Four hours of time truly impacts the community,” Bhatti said. “Plus, you learn what you want to see the world become. It’s a lot about helping others and self-discovery.”