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UC Gives Back in a Big Way Across Greater Cincinnati

Nearly 300 UC staff and faculty members volunteered in neighboring communities as part of UC Serves, an all-day service event.

Date: 5/7/2015
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photos By: Joseph Fuqua II, UC Creative Services
They say thereís strength in numbers, in which case UC Serves was a mighty effort.

Nearly 300 University of Cincinnati staff and faculty members participated in UC Serves, a day of intentional, focused service throughout Greater Cincinnati on May 8. Hereís a glimpse at some number estimates behind this universitywide volunteer initiative:
UC Serves volunteers
UC faculty and staff volunteering during the UC Serves all-day service event.

  • 278 faculty and staff volunteers

  • 25 service sites in communities surrounding UC campuses

  • 1,668 hours of community service were given

  • $11,000 of in-kind donations (including supplies, food and gifts for volunteers) were contributed by local businesses in support of the event
Throughout the day, teams of UC volunteers prepared a new home site; beautified Burnet Woods near UCís Uptown Campus; cleaned up littered, overgrown vacant lots in the city; developed gardens in an urban farm; packed boxes of books; worked with individuals with dementia to complete therapeutic art projects; and assisted with many other projects. UC coordinated with more than two dozen nonprofit or community-based groups for UC Serves, including the American Cancer Society, Friends of the Public Library, Habitat for Humanity and Keep Cincinnati Beautiful.
UC Serves volunteers
UC faculty and staff volunteers work on a home renovation during UC Serves.

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 communitywide partnerships and investing in faculty and staff development as outlined in UC's Creating Our Third Century initiative and Just Community Principles.

The inaugural pilot event in 2014 enjoyed tremendous support from dozens of volunteers invited to participate. Nearly 800 volunteer hours were logged with more than a dozen nonprofit groups across Greater Cincinnati. 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 volunteers
UC Serves volunteers help with landscaping.

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


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.

Highlights Including Employee Feedback
UC Serves is more than a day of community service, it provides a way for faculty and staff to become involved and connected, not just with their colleagues, but with the broader UC Community.