August 23, 2016
Over 150 University of Portland students, including 120 freshmen and transfer students, arrived on campus early this week to volunteer at local schools, parks and non-profit organizations during the Moreau Center’s annual Service Plunge, August 23-24.
The Service Plunge provides an opportunity for first-year and transfer students to spend their first days as a University of Portland student volunteering with local service agencies. Students will have the opportunity to meet new people, work hard and immerse themselves in their new Portland community.
Under the direction of 30 student leaders, Service Plunge volunteers will complete several projects at eleven locations around Portland prior to the start of the 2016-17 school year on August 29. Locations include clean-up and preparation at four Portland Public Schools, working with five local non-profits, and clean-up and maintenance support at two Portland Parks & Recreation sites.
On Tuesday, August 23 students will be painting and helping teachers prepare for the school year at Caesar Chavez Elementary School in North Portland; helping the American Red Cross canvas North Portland neighborhoods to educate families on fire safety and offer free smoke alarms to be installed; and putting together nearly 1,000 packets of school supplies at Roosevelt High School in North Portland.
On Wednesday, August 24, students will help clean up and do park maintenance at Harper’s Playground, the fully accessible playground at Arbor Lodge Park in North Portland; prepare classrooms for the new school year at Peninsula School and Astor K-8 School, both in North Portland; assist BridgeTown Inc. - Because People Matter with relocating school supplies for children who live in homelessness; remove invasive species with Friends of Trees at Columbia Children’s Arboretum in Northeast Portland; help salvage building supplies at the ReBuilding Center in North Portland; and help Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church in downtown Portland and Holy Cross Catholic Church in North Portland with food, clothing and hygiene supplies for those in need.
The Service Plunge will end around 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 25, when participating students will join other UP students as they settle into their residence hall rooms and enjoy Orientation Weekend on the University campus.
The Moreau Center, according to its mission statement, “helps develop skills, knowledge, and habits to serve the world through hope, compassion and solidarity. Rooted in Catholic social teaching, we provide direct service opportunities, leadership development, reflection and social analysis. We aim to make God known, loved and served by caring for our neighbors, building community and working for the common good.” The Moreau Center is named in honor of Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C., founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.