Spring Break Plunge is a chance for Redlands students to dedicate their spring break to service. In the past, students have traveled to Louisiana, Utah, Texas, Joplin Missouri, and Mississippi for hurricane and tornado relief efforts. This year the Office of Community Service Learning will host a service trip to the East Coast for Sandy Relief.
Each year, U of R students and administrators traveled to Kanab, Utah where Best Friends Animal Society operates its largest sanctuary in the nation; it's home to a total of 1,500 animals. University participants assist Best Friends in the rehabilitation efforts for rescued animals. The Best Friends Animal Society began as a grassroots effort in the 1980's when nearly 17 million cats and dogs were being killed in shelters every year. The organization operates under the purpose that kindness to animals creates a better world.
The University of Redlands' football team dedicates May Break to serving locally and nationally. The football team has taken part in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, has worked with Habitat for Humanity and worked to build trails, clear dead tree limbs, and plant trees for The Wildland Conservancy in Oak Glen, CA. The team serves at Camp Ronald McDonald in Idyllwild, preparing the facilities for summer camp. Camp Ronald McDonald began in 1982 for children whose lives have been affected by childhood cancer. The Camp allows children a chance to recapture their childhood, build relationships with counselors, build friendships with other children facing similar trials, and leave feeling uplifted. The University's football team will be doing the "dirty work", paving the way for a summer of "Good Times" for children who deserve a taste of childhood.
The University Humor Outreach Program, (UHOP), is an organization devoted to helping children and young adults learn important skills and qualities through fun and interactive character building improve workshops. UHOP teaches students important skills, such as leadership, trust, teamwork, initiative, all done in the funniest possible way. In his experience teaching improve, Matthew noticed that "children who were initially very timid would burst out of their shells once they noticed that everyone was acting silly." Matthew's philosophy which is carried out through UHOP is, "If you're laughing you're learning, even if you don't know it." For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kiva empowers groups and individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the world, carrying the mission to "connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty." Kiva operates under the following beliefs: People, by nature, are generous and will help others if given the opportunity in an accountable way; The poor are highly motivated and can be very successful when given an opportunity; By connecting people we can create relationships beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another. The office of Community Service Learning has initiated fundraising on campus and has found great support from students. University donors have the ability to virtually see the individuals whose lives they are impacting through the entrepreneurs' online Kiva profile.
The Sustainable University of Redlands Farm is a two acre space devoted to improving campus sustainability, increasing opportunities in agricultural education, and providing nutritional donations to qualified recipients. The farm includes a California native plants garden, a Zuni waffle garden, two production plots and the campus community garden. The campus community garden offers leasable plots to University of Redlands alumni, faculty, staff and students. Growing practices are sustainable and we use organic methods like crop rotations, companion planting, green manures and composting. Our produce is sold to our campus catering service while some is donated to local, non-profit agencies. Students can be involved by completing their community service requirement on the farm. These gardening volunteers will manage a 10 by 20 foot parcel of land and everything that they grow is then donated to local non-profit agencies working to alleviate hunger and homelessness in Redlands. Gardening volunteers also work at school and community gardens and offer assistance in food banks and pantries. Students can also apply to work as a Gardener in Residence. Gardeners assist gardening volunteers, maintain the Sustainable University of Redlands Farm and experientially learn about sustainable agriculture.
Contact the Coordinator of Sustainability and Outreach and the Office of Community Service Learning (ext 8838) for more information.