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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR volunteers help give back to community

Kayaks+are+checked+out+to+TR+students+through+Backwoods+so+they+can+ride+along+the+Trinity+River+and+clean+up+the+trash+in+and+among+the+banks+March+21+as+part+of+the+campus%E2%80%99+Day+of+Service.%0APhotos+by+Erik+Marroquin%2FThe+Collegian
Kayaks are checked out to TR students through Backwoods so they can ride along the Trinity River and clean up the trash in and among the banks March 21 as part of the campus’ Day of Service. Photos by Erik Marroquin/The Collegian

By Audrey Werth/tr news editor

Each year, groups of TR students, faculty and staff volunteer around the community for a Day of Service. 

“The main goal is to get students and campus employees involved with the community and to give back,” TR student development associate Elena Walker said.

Volunteers on March 21 worked with I.M. Terrell Elementary, the YWCA, Charles E. Nash Elementary and One Safe Place while a group of kayakers picked up trash along the Trinity River.

Kayaks are checked out to TR students through Backwoods so they can ride along the Trinity River and clean up the trash in and among the banks March 21 as part of the campus’ Day of Service. Photos by Erik Marroquin/The Collegian
Kayaks are checked out to TR students through Backwoods so they can ride along the Trinity River and clean up the trash in and among the banks March 21 as part of the campus’ Day of Service.
Photos by Erik Marroquin/The Collegian

Backwoods supplied the kayaks, and for many of the volunteers, this was their first experience out on the river in a kayak.

“I have to do community hours for one of my classes, so I decided to go ahead and sign up for this because kayaking sounded like fun,” TR student Jannette Cisneros said. “I’ve never done this before. I just hope I don’t drown or tip over.”

Sophomore Kimberley Avelar and staffer Ricardo Garcia said they wanted to clean up the river because the chance to kayak had interested them.

“I’m the new librarian here, so this is my first time doing this,” Garcia said. “I’ve wanted to kayak on the Trinity River, and when this opportunity came up, it just made sense.”

Freshman Sudeep Shrestha enjoys volunteering with TCC whenever he can.

“This is a lovely thing to do on a nice Saturday morning — to give back to the community,” he said.

Volunteers at the elementary schools worked with other community members to make a playground safer and beautify a school garden.

Student volunteers found themselves using a manual push mower to tame thick grass before planting flowers and vegetable seeds in the garden across the street from the school. Latonya Terrell, the garden coordinator, said the garden is used as a place to bring students and teach lessons outside of the classroom.

“Now when they come over, they get to see that this is a beautiful place,” she said. “This is a wonderful place to teach a lesson.”

Terrell said without the volunteers, projects like the garden would not get completed.

TR volunteers sort clothing at One Safe Place, where women can find items to wear for employment interviews. This was one of four places where students served March 21.
TR volunteers sort clothing at One Safe Place, where women can find items to wear for employment interviews. This was one of four places where students served March 21.

“When you have 12 motivated people, what you can get done is amazing,” Nancy Webb, a donor who helped make the garden possible, said in reference to the TCC volunteers.

At Nash Elementary, volunteers added new mulch around the playground area.

“They had a little bit of mulch down when we got here, but it was mostly dirt, and kids were falling off the playground and hurting themselves pretty badly,” TR student Lauren Oswalt said.

The YWCA is committed to women’s issues, empowering women in the community and helping women and children escape poverty. The organization has a history of working with veterans and has coordinated with TR’s veterans association in the past, so many students from the veterans group volunteered.

“The experience has been really relaxing,” Elizabeth Rios said. “I like the small classrooms and helping out the kids. Everyone is here helping each other.”

This was TR’s first year working with One Safe Place, an organization also dedicated to helping women, specifically women who have or are experiencing domestic violence.

Student volunteers helped to sort and display business clothing for women who would need something professional to wear to interviews.

“I was trying to bring in a new project that we hadn’t done before,” Walker said.

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