LEAPS volunteers to attempt second shot at service projects

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    More than 200 students will venture out to community centers and YMCAs Saturday to volunteer as part of TCU LEAPS spring 2006, a campuswide day of community service.Students will perform various tasks including sorting clothes, painting, landscaping and interacting with children.

    TCU has held LEAPS in the fall since 2000, but LEAPS was canceled last fall because of the threat of Hurricane Rita entering the area.

    Peter Thompson, program coordinator of Student Development Services, said he did not want to see a whole year go by without LEAPS, so SDS organized a special spring event.

    Thompson said LEAPS provides a good opportunity for TCU students to get out and volunteer in the community.

    Kelly O’Fallon, a senior fashion merchandising major and director of LEAPS, has participated in the service project since her freshman year.

    O’Fallon said LEAPS is a way for the TCU community to make a difference in the area on a continual basis.

    “It’s basically just a way to give back a little something to the wonderful city of Fort Worth, even if it’s just for a few hours,” O’Fallon said.

    Indi Jones is the director of membership for the downtown YMCA, one of the locations where students will volunteer.

    Jones said the volunteers will be working on improving the YMCA’s parking lots to make them nicer for YMCA activities.

    “We use our parking lots for more than just cars,” Jones said. “We use them for space for our community and children’s activities.”

    Jones said this type of community service is important because it builds future community leaders.

    “Anytime we can partner with TCU students, we do, because we know we are preparing them for the future,” Jones said.

    Other locations where students will be sent are the Salvation Army, Tarrant Area Food Bank, Fort Worth Botanic Gardens and the Boys and Girls Club.

    LEAPS kicks off at 9 a.m. at Frog Fountain. Students can still sign up by contacting Student Development Services.