Center for Community Outreach
The Center for Community Outreach at the University of Kansas aims to educate students on issues affecting society and faciliate action within their community through various volunteer programs, thereby improving the quality of life for everyone involved.
In 1990, The University of Kansas Student Senate created a board intended to serve as a volunteer central organization for students who desire to participate in community activities. Today, CCO serves more than 7,000 students annually by connecting them with volunteer opportunities. Participants may act as a mentor, feed the hungry, help the environment, educate others on social issues or foster relationships with individuals in the diverse Lawrence community. Below is a list of our current programs:
Best Buddies pairs volunteers with local high school students and recent high school graduates who have developmental disabilities in order to provide friendship and educational opportunities.
Concerned Active and Aware Student volunteers work as advocates for social change by facilitating direct action and service activities to combat issues such as hunger, discrimination and other violations of human rights.
CREATE allows volunteers to work on art related projects with preschool-age children in weekly sessions at the Ballard Community Center. Participants can also serve community groups by providing services focused on art, theater, music or dance.
EARTH connects volunteers with opportunities in a wide range of environmental issues around Lawrence and surrounding areas. Through restoration projects, clean up efforts and educational events, EARTH promotes environmental action and awareness.
GROW volunteers, along with children from the Lawrence Boys' and Girls' Club and other community organizations, work together to tend small organic gardens in order to promote teamwork, nutrition and horticulture.
Hawks for Health
Hawks for Health places volunteers in community health care facilities. Participants also hold health promotion activities on campus and around the Lawrence community.
HUG unites volunteers and senior citizens in local retirement homes with the intent to establish meaningful relationships. Activities can include playing card games, creating memory scrapbooks or participating in Bingo.
Into the Streets Week
Into the Streets Week is an annual weeklong event in the spring that highlights volunteer activities throughout the community. Among the events are a hunger banquet, a sleep out for homelessness and the Empty Bowls Project, a fundraiser where participants paint ceramics.
Jubilee Café provides breakfast for in-need community members in a restaurant-style environment. The program runs from 6 to 9:30 am Tuesday and Friday mornings at the First United Methodist Church, 946 Vermont. Volunteers have the unique opportunity to build friendships with members of the diverse Lawrence community by serving them with dignity and respect.
Lifeline volunteers work with Douglas County high school students to teach life skills through personal experience and hands-on instruction. Topics include budget management, bill paying, interviewing and filling out school or employment applications.
MILK aims to build genuine and lasting relationships between participants and children through tutoring and mentoring. Volunteers become role models as they visit with kids on a weekly basis at any one of the elementary after-school programs in town.
Music Mentors gives volunteers an opportunity to share their talents when they provide free private lessons with musical instruments or vocal training to junior high students in need.
Natural Ties facilitates weekly interaction between KU student organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities with activities to promote friendships.
Project Bridge lets volunteers knowledgeable in another language tutor people of all ages who are learning English as a second language.
Students Tutoring for Literacy
Students Tutoring for Literacy has volunteers help native and non-native English-speaking youth and adults with varying proficiency to obtain their GED, learn English as a second language, read their first book or fill out a job application.
Alternative Breaks gives students the opportunity to do service across the country with a variety of non-profit agencies. Through these experiences, students work to facilitate changes in personal perspectives, relationships, environments, and communities, to create life-long links between students and service. Alternative breaks can be contacted at: 428 Kansas Union or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.