Texas Christian University's LEAPS program is a campus wide day of service where students, faculty, staff and alumni gather to serve together in the community at various volunteer locations, according to the LEAPS official website.
Out of the many students that were loading into buses Saturday morning to be sent out to their volunteer locations, four students took the time to reflect what on LEAPs means and then discuss their efforts after a day of volunteering.
Meriwether, a sophomore education major, participated in LEAPS for the third time.
This semester she volunteered at the Ladder Alliance, an organization that helps women of domestic violence get back on their feet by teaching them job skills such as working with computers, she said.
While on location, Meriwether worked on the building itself by patching up the holes in the walls, painting them, and putting in new ceiling tiles, she said.
“I really enjoyed the service today. I love just building relationships with the organizations and the TCU students that I wouldn't normally get to interact with. It's so great to get out of our TCU bubble and not only serve the community, but learn from them as well.” she said.
Breuner, a sophomore business major, was serving as a community liaison this year after serving as a volunteer for the first time last year.
“As a Community Liaisons, I’m the connection between the volunteers and the site,” she said.
Breuner thinks it’s important to have the LEAPS program every semester because “it bring people together and raises awareness for different community service projects.”
This year, Breuner serves at the Como Community Center, where with her fellow volunteers she picked up trash along Horne street in Fort Worth.
“While I was walking down the street picking up trash, a lady waved at me and thanked me as she was getting into her car. It was nice to see that the help I was giving was actually beneficial and appreciated by the community," she said. "Although I already know that community service is important, I was reminded of the impact that lending a hand makes. It made me happy to help out!”
This sophomore business major also served as a Community Liaison for the first time.
Temple volunteered at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. (BRIT), where she helped put together booklets and invitations for their annual fundraiser, she said.
“I think it’s really important to get connected with the outside community not just TCU, my goal is to help TCU have more of an impact on the community.” she said.
Drees, a freshman pre-business major, participated in LEAPS for the first time this semester.
Her goal in volunteering was to “serve back to the greater community; they do a lot for the TCU community so I wanted to share my strengths and give back as well.”
“I think it’s important for students to recognize there’s more than what’s right on campus. Volunteer work keeps society going. It’s nice for us to go out and help them accomplish their goals.” she said.
Drees volunteered at the Community Food Bank of Fort Worth where she packaged bulk amounts of noodles and brown sugar into smaller packages so that they could be dispensed to families she said.
“I learned that there are more ways to serve the community than by just donating your money and assets. Donating your time is an overlooked aspect of being a community member. With just a few hours you can impact the lives of so many,” she said.