LEAPS and beyond


    Each semester, hundreds of students sign up to spend their Saturday giving back to the community through TCU LEAPS, a campus-wide day of service.

    Although LEAPS is only one day, student service efforts have a huge impact throughout the year.

    “Without TCU students [the Tarrant Area Food Bank] would certainly be at a volunteer shortage,” said Robyn Morgan, volunteer coordinator at the Tarrant Area Food Bank. “We really appreciate TCU volunteers because we know that when they come, they are committed and excited to work. We are so thankful for the students.”

    Rosangela Boyd, director of community involvement and service-learning at the university, wrote in an email that the Tarrant Area Food Bank is one of approximately 30 sites where LEAPS volunteers will serve this semester.

    Morgan said LEAPS volunteers will be working in the quality-control area of the food bank, where they will sort and assess the safety of donated goods.

    LEAPS is just one of many service opportunities for students. A number of campus organizations emphasize giving back throughout the year.

    Sophomore psychology major Chris Lamoureux, treasurer of the university’s NAACP chapter, said members of the group volunteer at the Tarrant Area Food Bank on the last Saturday of every month.

    “Community service is important because it brings students together, it builds community within the campus and it gives us a chance to give back to the community,” Lamoureux said.

    Mission Arlington and Union Gospel Mission are two other locations volunteers will serve at during LEAPS, Boyd wrote.

    Lezlee Kinney, the volunteer coordinator at Union Gospel Mission, said LEAPS volunteers will make place mats and decorations in preparation for the Mission’s Thanksgiving dinner.

    “We really admire students who come volunteer because we know they are balancing a lot with school,” Kinney said.

    Tillie Burgin, executive director of Mission Arlington, said her organization has partnered with the university for a number of years and thinks LEAPS is one of the best service events.

    “LEAPS volunteers will mainly be helping us get ready for Thanksgiving,” she said. “They will sort food and put baskets together.”

    Burgin said although students are often first introduced to the shelter through LEAPS, many of them return and serve at other times throughout the year.

    “We hope that the number of volunteers will continue to grow,” Burgin said. “We want all volunteers to feel welcome when they come here and fulfilled knowing that they are helping the community. “

    This semester, LEAPS will be on Nov. 9. To register or find out more information, visit the LEAPS website.