While COVID-19 restricted some practices, the Cal Poly Pomona Center for Community Engagement launched a new spring break tradition this year that focused on virtual volunteering from the safety of your home to better the community.
Over spring break from March 29 until April 2, the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) hosted their inaugural event, Saddle Up for Service Bronco Service Break (BSB). The BSB is a new partnership between the CCE, the International Center and Study Abroad Program, the goal of which is to get students engaged with their community through volunteer service projects.
The BSB is a five-day volunteer experience that supports local non-profit organizations. This year, the BSB partnered with L.A. Works, American Red Cross and Children’s Foundation of America for its volunteer work.
The students who participated in the BSB this year served their community during spring break through at-home service projects. Each day of the program, participants took part in a different project to better their community.
“It feels great to direct my energy for the benefit of others who may not be able to do much for themselves. I hope projects like these become relics to children receiving them and help them transform into the greatest version of themselves,” said volunteer, Natalie Gudiño Quiles.
For one project, students designed after-school activity kits for children in kindergarten through fourth grade at Watts Empowerment Center. Each kit was comprised of puzzles, crafts, crayons, coloring books and word searches.
Another project included students preparing seed kits with pots, soil and seeds for Environmental Charter School in Inglewood.
Volunteers also made cards for elderly people in partnership with American Red Cross. In the final project of the week, students put together birthday bags containing a handmade card, cake mix, and a CPP Bronco plush gift for foster children at Trinity Youth Services’ Rancho Cucamonga location.
The goal of the CCE’s Saddle Up for Service programs are to inspire awareness, advocacy and citizenship through a captivating cultural exchange. The BSB week-long event aimed to help students recognize the importance of social responsibility, build relationships, work as a team and develop appreciation for involvement in the community.