Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Anne Bromley:
April 13, 2010 — This Saturday, University of Virginia students, alumni and faculty will volunteer in more than 25 sites in the area, from the Discovery Museum to Riverview Park.
Later this month, the alumni club in London will work on beautifying the banks of the Thames River.
Both events are part of "Cavaliers Care," a one-day service project sponsored by UVaClubs (and locally by Madison House, the student volunteer center). Alumni clubs around the globe participate in a volunteer project during the month of April in honor of Thomas Jefferson's birthday on April 13.
This year, more students than ever – 450 – signed up for volunteer activities in the Charlottesville event, said Ben Eppard, communications director for Madison House.
"This year, it's a bigger event because of a lot of student initiative," he said.
Students will hand out smiles and lend a hand at such varied places as the Charlottesville Free Dental Clinic, the Meals on Wheels program, the Ronald McDonald House, the Habitat Store and several local elementary schools and day care centers.
Madison House alumni and the Richmond UVaClub are collaborating on a Cavaliers Care project, sprucing up the grounds of the Martin Luther King Middle School there.
The Charlottesville UVaClub will concentrate on clearing trails in Riverview Park and handing out water and other beverages to runners during Saturday's Charlottesville Marathon.
Since UVaClubs adopted the Cavaliers Care project, it has grown from 16 clubs conducting 28 service projects in 2001 to 54 clubs organizing 81 projects this year, said Sarah Brown, U.Va.'s director of regional engagement.
"Cavaliers Care has grown in ways we could not have imagined in 2001," Brown said. "Alumni and parents around the globe will be making a difference in their communities – from gathering in London to clean the shore of the Thames River in an international service project to stocking the shelves of the Utah Food Bank in Salt Lake City to supporting Hospice Hawaii’s 'Hot Pursuit' scavenger hunt in Honolulu to racing against racism in Harrisburg, Pa."
For a complete listing of events, visit the Cavaliers Care Web site.