News

1000plus serves Pgh. area

1000plus has been advertising on the Mall. (credit: Kristen Severson/Photo Editor) 1000plus has been advertising on the Mall. (credit: Kristen Severson/Photo Editor)

Next Saturday marks the second annual Carnegie Mellon day of service, 1000plus, where students have the opportunity to give back to the greater campus community through a plethora of service activities.

“This ambitious initiative aims to engage over 1000 members of the Carnegie Mellon community in unique service activities in the Pittsburgh area on one day per year,” said Coordinator of Student Development Lucas Christian, who also sits on the 1000plus board.

“Our hope with 1000plus is to help members of the Carnegie Mellon community see the wide variety of ways they can impact the community through service. We also hope that individuals who participate in 1000plus can establish relationships with service agencies that result in reoccurring involvement and support.”

Students, staff, and faculty are all invited to participate. This year will mark only the first anniversary of this annual day of service.

“1000plus was started to give our campus opportunities to get engaged in service, as well as to allow people to network with others who also have an interest in making a positive impact on our world,” junior chemistry major Ashley Kilp said.

Christian also commented, “The initiative was created last year by a group of individuals with a lot of hopes and very little time to turn them into reality. Last year’s committee did not start planning until February of 2008.”

Nevertheless, Kilp feels that the event was a success: “It was an absolute blast. People brought their friends; we had music playing; and it felt really good to be doing something worthwhile and have fun at the same time.”

This year, 1000plus is partnering with Pittsburgh Cares to expand the types of volunteer positions offered throughout the Pittsburgh community.

“Pittsburgh Cares has helped us identify a wide variety of opportunities that we think will help students, faculty, staff, and alumni gain a new perspective on how they can give back to their community,” Christian said.

“For example, this year’s list of service opportunities includes a project that allows participants the opportunity to rappel down Mt. Washington while cleaning up the cliffside.”

Other opportunities include sorting books at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, planting trees with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, painting classrooms at the Wilkins School and Community Center, and requesting donations from shoppers outside the Giant Eagle in Squirrel Hill.“There really is something for everyone,” Kilp said.

The most anticipated activity offered during 1000plus could be the Service Crawl.

A service crawl is a scavenger hunt of sorts involving a variety of service-oriented tasks.

Described as similar to the CBS reality show The Amazing Race, the service crawl actually pits groups of four to five volunteers against each other in a race to visit several nonprofit agencies and complete short mission-based projects in support of those agencies.

“Currently, there are a lot of agencies in need of volunteer support,” Christian stated.

“Through participation, the volunteers will hopefully be inspired to take action and continue be involved within their communities,” explained program assistant Alex New.

Also, there is typically a reward at the end for the fastest team.

“Carnegie Mellon is one of our most active college campuses,” New said. “For example ... Pittsburgh Cares hosted a service crawl during Carnegie Mellon’s orientation.... We also are working on coordinating Service Saturdays, where around 20 different students volunteer every Saturday for the entire academic year.”

Because space is limited for some opportunities, students, faculty, or staff members interested in participating in 1000plus should register in advance online at the program’s site:www.willyoubecounted.com/opportunties.

On March 28, check-in begins at 11 a.m. in Wiegand Gym in the University Center, followed by a short program highlighting the university’s service accomplishments at 11:30.

Teams of volunteers will leave from the gym and participate in various service opportunities between noon and 5 p.m.
Service projects will last approximately two to four hours.

Transportation is provided for service opportunities outside of walking distance.