The CF Office of Service, Civic and Community Engagement is looking for contributions from faculty and staff to assist in jump starting some new initiatives and updating some older projects. Many of these initiatives tie back to academics through education courses, communication courses, health and wellness courses, and social science courses. So the service, civic and community engagement spans across disciplines. These are ongoing projects that will help the men and women that are not just CF students but potential students who visit our campus and the community.
How Can I Help?
More detail on the projects are below, but here are some of the items we are in constant need of:
• food donations (nonperishables)
• plastic grocery bags
• water bottles
• shoe boxes
• toilet paper rolls
• women’s professional dress clothing
• men’s professional dress clothing
• old laptops that are not being used (We can clean them off and reset them the factory format.)
The OSCCE supports the Night of Hope for women who are victims of domestic violence. We have a childcare safe zone in which we are looking for shoe boxes to paint and create Lego blocks for the children that are fun to play with, assist in building their gross motor skills and hand eye coordination skills. We plan on creating a ball crawl area for the children to play in with crawl through tents. CF students who participated in this event last year, made the suggestion of creating a fun environment that is safe, but builds critical thinking, hand eye, and gross motor skills. We also want to be able to have gloves, diapers and wipes as many times the women do not have these necessities for the children. The children that attend this event are from the age of 1 to 3. Some have even been infants. This is a night in which the women are educated to be empowered and have a break from their children; knowing that we provide a safe zone for these children.
The Clothing Closet is a new initiative that the college is working to open in March in conjunction with the Talent Center. The OSCCE is working with students to help provide a closet in the Mathematics Building 7, Room 203 to assist students who need professional dress attire to prepare for an interview. All sizes are needed. If you are donating clothing we ask that you please wash it prior to bringing it in so that we are able to ensure that it can be hung up and ready to go out the closet to someone in need. The clothing must be professional, free from holes, rips, or tears. It should be clothing that you would wear to an interview. The school would be responsible for the cleaning bill after the clothes are returned if the student does not need to keep the outfit. It will be based on an as needed situation requiring the student to meet certain qualifications.
Plastic Grocery Bags
Plastic Mats for the Homeless is a new initiative for the college. It is a goal of the OSCCE is to have 50 mats completed by fall for homeless individuals in the community. Marion County released results in 2018 that 271 un-sheltered homeless people were between the ages of 12 to 82. These are individuals who are living outside in the elements according to a 2018 Ocala Star-Banner article. The census was taken from Brother’s Keeper Soup Kitchen, The Salvation Army Center of Hope, a Restaurant in Silver Springs, multiple spots within Belleview, along Interstate 75 and the Ocala National Forest. Some of the homeless are not even accounted for in this survey because the guidelines for homeless in Marion County stipulates that one is not deemed homeless if they have a home even if there is no electricity or running water, or live in a vehicle. In 2016, 823 people on a single day were reported to be on the street or in shelters (Florida Housing Coalition).
Plastic Water Bottles
Plastic Water Bottles are being used for two projects by the OSCCE. The first project is the welcome back bottles for 900 students attending College Park Elementary school. This is a low socioeconomic school in which not all students can afford school supplies. Students here at CF have donated pencils, pens and erasers to create a welcome back to school bottle for all of the students attending College Park for the fall 2019. This will allow for all students to receive supplies and no one child will be signaled out as not being able to meet the need of school supplies. The second project with the plastic water bottles are to make lamps that will be placed in a digital catalog that will be open to the public so that students can raise money to help sustain the food pantry that will be open on the college campus for our own student population that are not able to afford food.
Toilet Paper Rolls and Paper Towel Rolls
Toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls will be used to create beautiful napkin ring holders that will be placed in the catalog for others to purchase to assist in sustaining the food pantry. Students will be creating different projects to help sustain the new initiative projects that are going to be implemented in the spring and fall terms of 2019.
(NEW INITIATIVE STILL IN THE DEVELOPMENT STAGE)
Food Pantry – This is a new project and we are including in this project various “stations” that will be used to assist in feeding college students here on campus that are going without eating for fear of asking for assistance to obtain food. Many students state that when they do not eat they cannot focus in class. The Hope Lab conducted a study that indicated that one in 10 students go an entire day without eating. Maybe some of those students have learned how to make a can of spaghetti O’s last for two days. According to a survey of Berkeley students, 38 percent of undergraduates and 23 percent of graduate students deal with food insecurity during their academic year. If we think about it that means three of the 30 students we see in our classrooms on a daily basis are dealing with food insecurities. This is a real crisis that we can have a solution that will help to assist our students. The Hope Lab stated that 56 percent community colleges had students dealing with food insecurities on a daily basis. With this project will be the implementation of various “stations” in which students can grab a snack and go to class. This way they are not hunger. We will be implementing this on all three CF campuses.
Old Laptops are being donated to assist students who do not have the funds to purchase a computer and need to be able to do their work from home. The needs for this program are based on a submission of an application. The computers are wiped clean by students and set up so that students can use them to access canvas and the CF Student Portal. At the end of each term the students have to reapply with the OSCCE to see if they are eligible for the continued use of the laptop.
For more information, contact Dr. Christine Knierim at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 1341.