Since 1999, an estimated 25,000 University of Texas at Austin students have participated in The Project—one of the largest days of university community service in the country. Each year, an intrepid group of about 35 students plans and organizes the day-long event that focuses on an underserved Austin neighborhood.
The 15th annual Project was no different. A total of 1,859 volunteers worked a combined 9,371 hours on Saturday, Feb. 22, to weed, dig, plant, paint and carry out other odd jobs at 36 sites in the Holly St. neighborhood in East Austin. Projects were completed at five schools, three parks, five churches, five community centers, two nonprofit organizations and 19 homes.
Once again this year, Longhorn Steakhouse provided lunch for all volunteers, thanks to the efforts of Director of Operations Gus Barbosa and his staff. And no Project would be complete without the Home Depot team, who assists with training and supplies and volunteer themselves on the day of the Project. Home Depot Store #6542 on Woodward has been the “home” store for The Project since 2012. Managers from that store help students complete the paperwork to receive funding from the Home Depot Foundation and provide training. Supplies come from both the Woodward Home Depot and the store on Barbara Jordan. On Feb. 22, though, the day of the Project, Home Depot employees from ten area stores volunteered. A big thank you to Longhorn Steakhouse and Home Depot for their continued support of The Project!
“Our students amaze me every year with their dedication and passion for community service,” said DDCE Program Coordinator Amory Baril. “They are advocates for our community partners and extraordinary event planners, while still being full time students. This year’s group has definitely raised the bar for the next 15 years of The Project, and I’m so proud to work with them.”