Tag Archives: Fresno State

Walking the Walk

1 May

As a Richter Center Ambassador, I am charged with the honorable duty of sharing the value and importance of service to the community among my peers at Fresno State.  With this responsibility comes a certain degree of freedom to spread my passion for service work and the avenue which I most often find myself taking is one in which my actions speak louder than my words.  I was raised to believe that, at the end of the day, it is that which a man or woman has accomplished in the pursuit of some higher purpose  that speaks for itself, not the explanations, excuses, or promises to do better next time that should do the talking.

bdogpantryWhen I speak with students , clubs and organizations on campus, or faculty/staff/administration about the need for active volunteerism in and around the Fresno community I always stress that while it is a good start to think about ways in which you can serve and “try on” (so to speak) a few service sites, some of the most rewarding service work comes from a sustained commitment to one or two organizations.  I find that many of my favorite, most enriching experiences as a volunteer have come from my on-going commitment to the Bulldog Food Pantry.  The Pantry provides food for more than 200 families every week and every weekend volunteers from the Fresno State community gather to pack bags of food and distribute them to our many clients.   I get a sense of satisfaction every Friday afternoon, when I join the truck convoy that picks up the food from the Community Food Bank and delivers to the Pantry because I realize that my efforts, insignificant as they are in the grand scheme of the benevolent machine that is the Pantry, are appreciated by many.  My available time to volunteer at the Pantry has decreased as the years go by, but I still make it a point to lend a hand whenever and wherever possible because I believe in the work of the Pantry and I want the world to become as passionate as I am about their mission.  I choose to ‘walk the walk’ and find it to be very satisfying.

Now, as a word of encouragement: Let your actions sing your praises as a leader in service!  Take pride in the fact that you are a leader in community engagement!  Know that your generosity and selflessness are directly benefitting and improving the lives’ of your fellow Fresnans (and beyond)!  As Jan and Bud Richter, whose philanthropy and desire to instill positive change in the Fresno community by providing a means for students at Fresno State to learn firsthand the importance of being a champion of service, said during the dedication ceremony of the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning in November of 2007, “We believe that this Center will help foster a set of values and habits in Fresno State students that are similar to the motto that we have tried to live by, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.”  What is implied here, of course, is that action must be taken to ‘do unto others’.  So what are you waiting for?  Find that special place to serve that enriches your life and brings you satisfaction, then keep up the good work!

For more information about the Bulldog Pantry, feel free to email us at thebulldogpantry@gmail.com.

What is your service passion?  Where do you like to regularly volunteer your time in order to make an impact?

-Ambassador Daniel

Spring Into Service Reflection

18 Apr

In the early morning hours of Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 a group of faculty, staff,  students, and community volunteers gathered on San Ramon avenue in front of the Science II Building at Fresno State to begin work beautifying the grounds and creating a water-wise garden, showcasing the university’s commitment to being a leader in responsible, sustainable practices in the San Joaquin Valley. The Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning hosts multiple one-day service events in the fall semester and one such event in the spring. The 2014 iteration of the Richter Center’s spring service day was called ‘Spring Into Service’ and featured new and exciting partnerships with different groups and individuals, including Associated Students Inc., Fresno State EES professor Dr. Mara Brady, and Associate Vice President for Facilities Management, Bob Boyd.

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Volunteers stand in front of some of their handiwork in lot P5 on Spring into Service Day 2014! Photo Credit: Richter Center S.E.R.V.E. committee

With more than 30 individuals, the work was completed rapidly and before lunchtime, more than 800 new trees, shrubs, and ground cover plants were successfully transplanted into many of the parking lots on the east side of campus. Three other sites also featured ‘Spring Into Service’ events: Woodward Park (Fresno P.A.R.C.S.), the McKenzie Preserve (Sierra Foothill Conservancy), and the Boys and Girls Club in the El Dorado Park neighborhood west of Fresno State enjoyed the work of over a hundred volunteers in completing meaningful projects.

 

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Volunteers dig holes for water-wise garden plants to be placed in. Photo Credit: Richter Center S.E.R.V.E. committee

What was especially exciting about the work done at Fresno State was that the project was held on the same day as the 2014 Preview Day, in which thousands of incoming Fresno State students and their families visited campus to learn more about the academic prowess of our school. However, as many walked past the volunteers planting trees in parking lots adjacent to the Smittcamp Alumni House, these people were also able to witness first-hand the culture of service that exists at Fresno State. Hopefully they are now able to realize that the more than one million hours of community service work that we as an institution completed in each of the last four academic years are not just numbers on a page; indeed, it is the work of the students, faculty, staff and administration who give so freely of their time and energies for the betterment of the greater Fresno State community, like those who labored early on a Saturday morning, that sums up to a tremendous impact in our city.

Working hard at the water-wise garden in front of the Science II building! Photo Credit: Richter Center S.E.R.V.E. committee

Working hard at the water-wise garden in front of the Science II building! Photo Credit: Richter Center S.E.R.V.E. committee

After a delicious lunch, courtesy of Subway Restaurant, volunteers were asked to reflect on their experiences that day. For many, this was a new experience, but having the opportunity to talk about the work that was done and why it was important was meaningful to all of the volunteers as many expressed when it was their respective turn to talk. Even more exciting than hearing what the volunteers thought of the day was hearing what they planned on doing as a result of Spring Into Service.   Many said that this was one of their first service projects, but that they did not plan on making it their last and were eager to learn about ways to get involved with the Richter Center.

As related to these students on ‘Spring Into Service’ day, the Richter Center student leadership groups are currently accepting applications for the 2014-2015 teams! Students are encouraged to apply for the Richter Center Ambassador program, the S.E.R.V.E. (service experiences through Richter volunteer events) committee, and the ReFs (Reflection Facilitators) program. Visit our Recruitment webpage for more details and to download an application.  Applications are due on Friday, April 25th at 12:00 PM.  Stop by the Richter Center in Thomas Building Room 107, call 559.278.7079, email fresnostaterca@gmail.com, or speak with a current member of the RCSL team for more information!

What are your spring service plans?  Did you participate in Spring into Service?  What about the experience sticks with you?

-Ambassador Daniel

Spring into Service with us!

13 Mar

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Join us for Spring into Service on March 22, 2014 from 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM!

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Fresno State volunteers help revitalize Woodward Park during last semester’s Serving Fresno Day.

With triumphant Make a Difference Day and Serving Fresno Day behind us, we at the Richter Center joyfully look forward to the next one-day service opportunity, Spring into Service Day

Volunteers can choose from one of these awesome locations/ projects:

  • Planting and beautification of the group activity area at Woodward Park with Fresno PARCS
  • Planting trees and shrubs on our Fresno State campus.

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Fresno has a lot of critics, but with some positive attitudes and a little teamwork we can change that negativity! We of this under-appreciated Central Valley city are blessed with splendid sunshine, vibrant urban developments, rich and abundant fields of agriculture, and so much more. Everything we could ever need is right here. Most of us don’t have to worry about our next meal or finding shelter from day to day. We have a successful university full of bright minds just waiting to change the world.  Fresno is home to amazing, dedicated, down-to-earth people, and we shouldn’t doubt its potential for a second. All it takes to recognize its beauty is a little optimism. I can assure you that community service is one of the best ways to guarantee this much-needed positive outlook.image_28

Granted, there’s always room for improvement, and that’s just what Spring into Service is all about! The general consensus from our previous one-day service events was that although it was early on a Saturday morning, each and every one of us left our service project with feelings of accomplishment and camaraderie. We each became excited to watch our web of outreach unfold! Our goal at the Richter Center is to regenerate these positive vibes on March 22nd.14

Let’s work together to spread an awesome message about our community! Let’s revitalize Fresno! Spring into Service Day will be a springboard for the Spring into Service Lifestyle: where we’ll work every day to make our home even better!

Join us! You are officially invited!

Visit the Richter Center website to register by March 19th; space is limited.

 

Which Spring into Service site are you most interested in and why? What do you hope to gain by participating in Spring into Service?

~Ambassador Lilliana

Random Acts of Kindness: Pay it Forward!

3 Dec

“I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are—even if they’re bad—to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.”  -Trevor McKenney from Pay It Forward

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From Nov. 13 to Nov. 16, Fresno State had its first ever Random Acts of Kindness Week. The week was designed to not only promote kindness throughout our campus in simple acts like opening the door for people or saying thank you, but also to encourage people to “go out of their way to make someone’s day.” I heard of several instances of people purchasing coffee for the person behind them in line, students baking cookies or passing out treats for those they regularly see, and small notes given to express appreciation.

On Wednesday, the Richter Center hosted a movie night for students to watch Pay it Forward. The movie showed how a boy with an assignment to change the world tackled the task and trusted people to do it. The quote above captures the importance of not being stagnant with how things are, and emphasizes how each of our actions brings about consequences.

Fresno State students, I propose a challenge for each of us. Let’s try to start our own kindness chain. With each kind act you receive, pay it forward to three other people. These acts, for example, may be too difficult for one to accomplish alone, but with help, could be accomplished. We will see the effects of this not only in the people or causes we choose to partake in, but also a change in our lives. Are you up for it?

-Ambassador Amanda

Food for Thought

29 Oct

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” -Mother Teresa

Picture taken by Taylor Daly at Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad, Ca.

This quote has always stuck out at me in regards to service.  Many people believe that their service goes unnoticed.  They believe that they really can’t make a difference.  It is true: somebody can’t do everything, but everybody can do something.  With the combined efforts of all volunteers, change begins to emerge.  Volunteering is never a wasted effort.  If more people were to volunteer, the impact on our city, nation, and world would increase.  Teamwork is what leads us to greater change and a better community.  By working together, change can happen, and quickly! Get involved in your community and see the impact that it has.  Encourage friends and family to participate with you!

-Ambassador Taylor 

Alternative Spring Break 2011

26 Oct

You all know that quote that says, “Hard work pays off?”  Well its true!!! About two years ago in the spring, seven other Fresno State students and I were busy shoveling compost, picking out weeds, using electrical drills to build plantar boxes, shoveling trenches, and installing an irrigation system.  Yes, it was hard work that kept us busy for four days during our spring break, but it was for Fresno State’s annual Alternative Spring Break.  Essentially the Alternative Spring Break program does what its name says. It provides students with an opportunity to do something different, or an alternative to what they regularly do for Spring Break.  In the spring of 2011 there were two different groups working and providing service at two different sites: one at Sierra Foothills Conservancy building trails and the other at Alluvial Community Garden working around their property and building their first seven plantar boxes.

As team leader of the Alluvial Community Garden project for ASB 2011 with the help of staff at Alluvial Community Garden and staff from Fresno State, I had the opportunity to lead a group of seven Fresno State students and help the garden with the building of their first seven plantar boxes.   At the end of the four days the whole group accomplished a lot.  We completed all the assignments of the project on time like professionals.  The outcomes of that year’s ASB were great!   By providing community service for the four days, we helped the garden get started and lay its foundation to work on it’s mission to “provide access to an organic community garden space which facilitate growing food, offering education opportunity promoting therapeutic recreation and building community for residents of the Fresno/Clovis area.”

Now almost two years later it makes me so happy to see those plantar boxes being used by people in the community.  As I look at the pictures of the plots overfilled with fresh fruits and vegetables, I think back and reflect on those four days filled with tasks of drilling frames of cedar wood together, shoveling sand, and pulling weeds, and I say to myself, “Paulina it was all worth it!”

I hope you can see that hard work does pay off!

For more info, check out the garden’s website here

-Ambassador Paulina

Now Announcing: Kids Day, 2012!

22 Feb

For most Valley residents, the words “Kids Day” bring to mind images of volunteers standing on street corners, dressed in neon vests, and waving newspapers at passing cars.  For Fresno State students, Kids Day means its time to scope out a prime corner and pull out the sleeping bags.

Fresno State students sell special-edition Fresno Bee newspapers for Kids Day.

A benefit for Children’s Hospital Central California, Kids Day is one of the Valley’s largest fundraising efforts. Each year, well over 1,000 Fresno State students volunteer to sell special edition Fresno State newspapers. Competition between student organizations to sell the most papers often drives students to stake out the most popular street corners as early as the evening prior to the kickoff.

With this year being the 25th anniversary of Kids Day, we hope for record breaking sales.  So far, registration for the event has been a great success, but more volunteers are needed.

If you would like to register to participate on Tuesday, March 6th, or for more information, please click here.

- Ambassador Leah

Bulldog Pantry “Will Walk for Food”: A Great Way to Kick Off the Year

16 Sep

Fresno State students on their two-mile walk around campus to benefit the Bulldog Pantry in their "Will Walk for Food" event on Saturday, September 10th.

This past Saturday, the 10th of September marked the first-ever running of the Will Walk for Food event, a fundraiser walk/run that was put on by the Bulldog Pantry. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this amazing organization, the Pantry is a student-run food bank where folks who are in need can go to receive food every week. The neighborhoods around Fresno State are home to a high level of poverty and there are many families who are simply unable to make ends meet.

Thankfully, the Bulldog Pantry is there to lend a hand to those who need it. And the Will Walk for Food event went a long way to making sure that the Pantry can continue to operate. It was announced that over $3000 was raised, money that will be used to purchase food from the Community Food Bank at a discounted rate (basically, one dollar from the Pantry will purchase $8 worth of grocery store-priced food). This was such a fun event, too! There was a five-mile run and two-mile walk with about 50 participants in total. The Richter Center Ambassadors were there in force, having a great time and sporting an “Ambassadoreo” theme. After the run/walk finished, there was a delicious BBQ dinner and live performance by local band HR7.

Overall, it was a great evening, raising money for an organization near and dear to my heart, and having a good time along the way.

Your Richter Center "Ambassadoreos" gearing up for their trek across campus.

- Ambassador Daniel 

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