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August 30, 2007

Volunteers sought for Day of Caring

The 17th annual Pitt Day of Caring is set for Sept. 28. More than 400 Pitt volunteers, including family members and friends, are expected for one of the area’s largest community service projects.

This year’s Day of Caring will feature more projects than ever, both in local neighborhoods close to campus and at agencies of regional importance, according to Pitt Volunteer Pool coordinator Steve Zupcic.

New components of this year’s Day of Caring include financial support from TIAA-CREF. “TIAA-CREF will be funding materials and supplies for the Lemington Community Services Project and the South Oakland Greenway Project,” Zupcic said. “Apropos to TIAA-CREF’s mission of retirement planning, Lemington Community Services provides a broad range of individual and group support to the elderly in order to prevent premature institutionalization.”

In addition, Zupcic said, Pitt Community Relations personnel will partner with the Oakland Business Improvement District to prompt local business owners to participate in the annual United Way campaign.

Day of Caring projects still in need of volunteers include:

• Family House: Volunteers will assist with fix-up tasks as well as spend time with client families at Family House in Oakland. Family House provides lodging for out-of-towners accompanying patients being treated at local hospitals.

• Roselia Center: Volunteers will do heavy cleaning and general maintenance at the center, a program of Catholic Charities that serves as a residential, counseling and educational center in Oakland for pregnant women.

• Gwen’s Girls: This multi-service organization helps at-risk girls become self-sufficient adults through gender-specific programs. Volunteers will work at the Girls’ House in Point Breeze on interior improvement tasks.

• Lemington Community Services: Volunteers will work on computer upgrades and direct services to seniors.

• Oakland Square: Volunteers will assist with tree planting and other improvements.

• “Only in Oakland” United Way Campaign: After a training session, volunteers will visit Oakland business owners to promote their participation in the United Way campaign.

• People’s Oakland: Volunteers will work alongside People’s Oakland members on interior freshening-up projects.

• Robinson Street Extension: Volunteers will assist with street beautification along Robinson Street Extension, adjacent to the campus in the Oak Hill neighborhood.

• Schenley Park: Volunteers will help return native species of flowering plants to the areas of Schenley Park adjacent to the University.

• Shuman Center: Volunteers will teach job readiness and interviewing skills at Shuman Detention Center in East Liberty.

• South Oakland Greenway: Volunteers will work to transform an extensive piece of South Oakland property into a usable community green space and park.

• United Cerebral Palsy Life Skills Training: Volunteers will work with clients of United Cerebral Palsy to assist in developing practical life skills, career placement skills and basic computer skills. Some volunteers will assist with improvements at this North Oakland facility.

• The Union Project: The former Union Baptist Church in Highland Park recently has been converted to a multi-purpose community center, The Union Project. Volunteers will assist with projects ranging from interior restoration to landscaping.

Volunteers should sign up promptly for their preferred projects, because several of them are filling up quickly, Zupcic recommended. “Some of the original projects already have been filled,” he said.

To sign up, volunteers should contact Zupcic at 412/624-7709 or; registration is required. All projects are set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 28.

The deadline to volunteer is Sept. 7.

Volunteers also can check the web site ( for updates.

In addition to work release time (with supervisor approval), volunteers get a T-shirt; lunch; transportation, and the opportunity to win prizes during the Pitt-United Way fundraising effort.

—Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 40 Issue 1

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