Giving Back Campaign making fans of volunteerism

By Staff

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UC Denver's inaugural Giving Back Campaign extended well into the new year, with faculty and staff connecting with the community, sharing time and talents where there are needs. Some 13 members of the University of Colorado Denver volunteered Jan. 13 at Food Bank of the Rockies.

"I felt I was making a difference for people who aren't as fortunate as I," said Amy Hume, consultant in the Office of Integrated University Communications. "I hadn't done much volunteering outside the political arena, and this gave me a completely different, wonderful, warm-hearted feeling."

Participants included Andy Jhanji, vice chancellor for advancement and chief of staff, and Carolyn Goble, executive assistant in the office of the vice chancellor for advancement and chief of staff. The Web Services and Integrated University Communications team included Hume, Jeremy Fulbright, Greg Aronoff, Jacque Montgomery, Steve Tapp, Jeff Exstrum, Micheline Heckler, Cecile Schoberle, Catherine Worster, Erica Lefeave and Catherine Beuten.

Food Bank of the Rockies provides food supplies to more than 1,000 hunger-relief programs across Northern Colorado and Wyoming. In its first 30 years, the bank has provided nearly 325 million pounds of food to member agencies, which translates to more than 250 million meals for people in need. Last year, the food bank distributed more than 56,000 meals each day to children, seniors and families in need.

The team volunteer opportunity is part of Chancellor M. Roy Wilson's inaugural Giving Back Campaign, continued until this week.

UC Denver volunteers worked alongside Food Bank of the Rockies "regulars" to help unpack cartons, check food donations to see if they were acceptable, clean cans and bottles and pass them along on an assembly line.

"It was great to see the amount of food donated by the larger chain stores such as Target and Wal-Mart — items they can't put on the shelves but that people can still use," Lefeave said.

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Many volunteers — sore feet and all — vowed to return. "In fact, I'd like to do this more often," Hume said. "I look forward to introducing this type of volunteering to my daughter in the future."