UCF Housing and Residence Life piloted the first community service and civic engagement living-learning community in the Lake Claire Apartments this year. With the leadership of Area Coordinator Jeremy Foskitt, the residents of the Volunteers uKnighted commUNITY have committed over 2,000 service hours to community projects and initiatives this year.

The Volunteers uKnighted commUNITY promotes service through citizenship to increase social awareness, civic responsibility, and one’s appreciation, involvement, and engagement in local and global communities. The Department of Housing and Residence Life partners with Volunteer UCF to assist various service based organizations in the Orlando area.

Whether it is sorting enough food to feed 20,000 people a day at the Second Harvest Food Bank, painting fences for Freedom Ride, Inc., or building a house in Pontotoc, Mississippi for a family over spring break, these students understand the value of community service. Resident George Lau commented, “Living here gave me the opportunity to give back to people in a different way than I previously thought of . . . knowing that the people in the building loved to volunteer as well made our efforts of helping those in need that much stronger.”

Residents have also volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club, Coalition House for the Homeless; various elementary, middle and high schools; Habitat for Humanity; Harbor House; the Hope Foundation; Orlando Rescue Mission; Pet Rescue by Judy; the Susan G. Komen Foundation; and the Walk for Autism, and Quest Camp Thunderbird. As Wayne Carter, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer noted, “As these young people interacted with members of our community, their good conduct, their enthusiasm for life, and their willingness to help others was exemplified again and again and duly noted by our residents.”

Foskitt concluded that “what a difference our students make in the UCF and Orlando communities. . .I could not be more proud to work with these outstanding students and our campus partners to offer this experience – I look forward to continuing the tradition next year.”