The University Record, June 25, 1997

Community Plunge seeks faculty and staff volunteers

By Kerry Colligan

The fourth annual Community Plunge, organized by Project SERVE, is Sept. 6. Community Plunge is a one-day event in which groups of incoming students volunteer to work on community service projects in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit.

Organizers anticipate between 500 and 600 volunteers will participate this year. Faculty and staff participation in this event has been low in the past, and Plunge organizers are looking for faculty and staff willing to serve as group leaders on various service projects.

Group leaders are almost always students who participated in the past, Jennifer Dombkowski, a Plunge organizer and Project SERVE participant, says.

"Plunge is a great opportunity for faculty and staff to get out into the community and help out, and to meet some of the incoming students."

Plunge is designed to introduce incoming first-year students to the importance of community service learning as an integral part of a university education.

"We try to get incoming students involved in the Ann Arbor community in nearby projects so they can continue to work on their own," says Dombkowski. In the past, students have worked with local organizations such as the Pound House, the Ozone House, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the SOS Community Crisis Center and Habitat for Humanity.

Service projects range from visiting with elderly people at local nursing homes, to cleaning the Huron River, to constructing, repairing and painting local homes through Habitat for Humanity.

This year a walk-a-thon is being added to projects involving hunger and the homeless, AIDS, the environment, youth and education and lesbian/gay/bisexual issues.

Interested persons should call Dombkowski, 761-6415, or send e-mail to jdombkow@umich.edu.