More than 1,200 students, staff, faculty, alumni, family members and friends of The University of Texas at El Paso woke up early on Saturday, April 13, 2019, to participate in UTEP’s annual day of community service: Project MOVE (Miner Opportunities for Volunteer Experiences).
Many of those volunteers gathered inside UTEP’s Kidd Field for a rally followed by about four hours of labor at 58 projects in and around El Paso based on requests from 31 nonprofits that serve the needs of area residents.
This year’s event marked the 10th anniversary of Project MOVE. In the last decade, approximately 12,000 volunteers logged 48,000 hours at 450 projects requested by 160 community partners.
Through the years, Miners and friends have landscaped gardens, painted skate parks, fixed bicycles, organized food pantries, cleaned offices and arroyos, repaired homes and playground equipment, and built bed frames and websites. They also have made blankets for children and made homes accessible for people with disabilities, spruced up a cemetery, repaired nature trails, taught golf and soccer, visited hospital patients, translated for medical students and collected canned and nonperishable food for people in need. The University estimated the value of the work at approximately $1.2 million.
University President Diana Natalicio was at Kidd Field on April 13 to thank the volunteers for their participation and to remind them of the special bond the University has shared with the community since the institution’s establishment in 1914. She called Project MOVE a wonderful opportunity to give back and to learn about the community and its various nonprofits organizations.
“To each and every organization, each individual here today, we’re very proud of you,” she said. “We know that you’re going to go out there and do something really important for people who are going to be forever grateful for the efforts that you’ve made.” - Daniel Perez