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UC Staff, Faculty Give Back to Neighboring Communities

Teams of UC staff and faculty volunteered with more than 10 nonprofit groups as part of UC Serves, an all-day service event.

Date: 5/5/2014 3:37:00 PM
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photos By: Jay Yocis, UC Creative Services; Peter Bender, UC Blue Ash College

UC ingot   It was an all-around good day for UC Serves volunteers.
UC's Jack Johnson
UC's Jack Johnson, program manager of the Office of Veterans Programs and Services, volunteers near the UC Uptown Campus. (Jay Yocis)

More than 100 University of Cincinnati staff and faculty members who participated in the day of intentional, focused service had a good time doing good work for many good causes May 2.

The UC Serves volunteers participated in various service projects throughout the neighborhoods surrounding UC's campuses – up to Mount Healthy and down to Florence, Kentucky – for an estimated total of more than 900 hours of donated community service.

Throughout the day, teams of UC volunteers assembled vials of medical and personal information for the elderly; helped with general neighborhood cleanup; harvested produce; painted hallways and rooms; and assisted with many other projects. UC worked with more than 10 nonprofit or community-based groups through UC Serves, including the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Freestore Foodbank, Friends of the Public Library and Volunteers of America. UC Serves also received more than $2,600 of in-kind donations from local businesses.

Michela Buccini, an academic advisor at UC Blue Ash College and one of the organizers of UC Serves, was pleased with the turnout and all the work that was accomplished by the volunteers. She says she's looking forward to another UC Serves and further outreach to the City of Cincinnati.

"During the day we received feedback from people in the community seeing us work either at their volunteer site or while beautifying their surrounding area. It was incredible to see the immediate impact and to speak to people about UC Serves," Buccini says.

News of the event made it beyond Cincinnati to places like Columbus and near Indianapolis, and UC Serves was thoroughly represented on social media.
Dean Cady Short-Thompson
UC Blue Ash College Dean Cady Short-Thompson volunteers as part of UC Serves. (Pete Bender)

The inaugural UC Serves functioned as a pilot for what is planned to be an annual event. Select offices were targeted for participation this year. Employees from all of UC's campuses were mixed to form distinct volunteer teams and to help stir the spirit of cross-campus collaboration by sharing in the common experience of meaningful engagement.

UC Serves reflects the university's commitment to enhancing our community through service, as outlined in UC's Academic Master Plan and Just Community Principles. Vice President for Student Affairs Debra Merchant says the pilot program also enabled staff and faculty to not only "talk the talk" but also to "walk the walk" as role models for students by actively participating in volunteer efforts.

UC Serves is organized by UC's Emerging Leaders in Student Affairs. For more information about UC Serves, contact Michela Buccini at 513-936-1537 or, or Fran Larkin at 513-556-1503 or; or go to