CSU, Chico News

Service With a Smile-University Hits Campaign Mark of 125,000

Date: 11-09-2012

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni have made the ultimate anniversary gift: 125,000 hours of service to help others.

On Monday, Nov. 5, the campus community reached the goal it had been working toward since the beginning of 2012, when President Paul Zingg kicked off the University’s 125th anniversary celebration and announced the My Service Counts campaign.

"No event within our 125th anniversary celebration has more meaning, or is more satisfying, than achieving 125,000 hours of community service this year,” said Zingg. “This goal connects us to the very roots of the University and a partnership of service and civic engagement with our city and region. It is all the more satisfying that we will significantly exceed our goal. That is a lovely affirmation that community service has no bounds at Chico State."

In fact, by Friday, Nov. 9, the My Service Counts campaign total surpassed 145,000 hours. Sue Anderson, Alumni and Parent Relations director and coordinator of the 125th anniversary celebration, said once hours were logged from several big volunteer events this week the total would easily top 150,000 hours.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, a Log Jam event was held in Trinity Commons to spur students to log their volunteer hours in the My Service Counts campaign. James Wilson, a student assistant responsible for helping manage the My Service Counts campaign, said the two-hour event netted 12,156 volunteer hours.

A celebration for the success of the My Service Counts campaign will be held Friday, Dec. 7, 4 p.m., at a location to be determined. Anderson said campus leaders, members of the 125th Anniversary Committee and volunteers who have logged at least 125 hours of volunteer service will be invited.

Not surprisingly, CSU, Chico’s biggest student volunteer event, Up ’til Dawn, pushed the University over the 125,000 mark. The annual fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was held Monday evening in Acker Gym. Approximately 2,500 students wrote letters asking for donations to fund research for cancer and other diseases afflicting children. CSU, Chico has been the top collegiate fundraiser for St. Jude five of the last six years.

At 7 p.m. Monday, Chico State junior John Rich stood in line with other students to log his hours volunteering at Up ’til Dawn. He didn’t know that by the time he reached the My Service Counts desk, the total had reached 124,999 hours. For being the person to log the 125,000th hour, he received a special gift package from Anderson and President Zingg and recognition from the hundreds of students at the Up ’til Dawn event.

Anderson said she hopes that people will continue to log hours right up to Dec. 31, 2012, for a big year-end total. “I have no idea what the final number will be, but it will make a huge statement about our University community. We have incredibly caring and committed students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents at Chico State.”

Volunteer hours were logged all around the world, Anderson said, and service efforts ranged from picking up trash to serving on boards of directors. More than 500 individuals have at least 50 hours of service, and about 300 have logged at least 100 hours, she said. In addition, several people have logged more than 1,000 hours of service, she said.

Since January, members of the campus community have been able to log their volunteer hours on the My Service Counts Website http://www.csuchico.edu/125/special-projects/service-hours/index.shtml. The site also provides a list of organizations that need volunteers.

CSU, Chico has a national reputation for volunteerism and community service. The University is on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the fifth time in six years the University has received this national honor. In 2006, CSU, Chico was among the first group of U.S. colleges and universities to receive the new Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

CSU, Chico’s spirit of service dates back to its earliest days, when Chico founder John Bidwell donated eight acres of his cherry orchard for a new state teacher’s college. When the community met on June 8, 1887, to thank Bidwell, he replied, “Every citizen must consider it his duty to do everything he can for the cause of education and his community.”