Engage Austin volunteer day in our Healing Garden

Engage Austin volunteers
Engage Austin volunteers

On Sunday October 21st, 28 University of Texas students participating in Engage Austin volunteered in our Healing Garden! To those students – I want to thank you, on behalf of everyone at The Christi Center, for supporting our organization through volunteering!

Engage Austin was a one-day volunteer and service-learning collaborative effort between the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE) and the Volunteer  and Service Learning Center (VSLC).

Volunteer days such as this are an opportunity for us, as an organization, to share our mission and vision with more people in the community. As the Manager of Volunteer Resources, I want to especially recognize this group. Not only were they ready and willing to get to work in the garden, they also seemed especially interested in learning more about our organization.

As I walked amongst the teams working in different areas of our garden, I was asked many questions. “How does the volunteer program work?” “Who maintains the garden on a regular basis?” “Where do you get your funding from?” “Tell me more about the different support groups you offer.”  “How can I become a regular volunteer?”

I answered these questions – and more – so the students would gain a better understanding of our organization, and learn how our services impact the community. This was one of the most engaged groups I have worked with and I enjoyed the time I was able to spend with them during this collaborative volunteer project.

The students’ hard work in the garden has definitely been noticed. With 28 volunteers working 2 hours each (56 hours total!!), they were able to rake 14 bags of leaves, spread 12.5 cubic feet of mulch, plant 86 daffodil and freesia bulbs and 29 native plants, and scatter 8 packets of seeds!! You can view more photos of our volunteer day on our Facebook page.

I would also like to thank our Healing Garden designer and visionary Angela Dobes Carver for volunteering her time and expertise that day. She has given our community a beautiful gift. Thank you, Angela!

As I walked the garden this past week, I noticed that some of the wildflower seeds are already sprouting. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when they are in full bloom – and when I look at those blooms, I will think of the 28 University of Texas students, who enthusiastically sowed those seeds.

About the Author:

Jocelyn Brown is Manager of Volunteer Resources at The Christi Center. She has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2008. She finds working with volunteers very rewarding, and aims to make the volunteer experience rewarding for each of them as well. “Working in the nonprofit sector has opened my eyes to what can be accomplished in our communities, and on a larger scale, throughout the world. This is why I am so  passionate about volunteering and serving my community.”