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UAB Into the Streets Returns
Just in time for the holidays, UAB Into the Streets returns bigger than ever. Hundreds of UAB students came out Saturday, November 16th to be part of the signature day of service event.
According to the City of Birmingham 2009 Data, 33.8% of Birmingham living below the poverty level. Into the Streets aims to improve Greater Birmingham area through cleaning up the streets, picking up trash, planting plants, and cleaning out dead branches and vegetation. Students are able to get out of the UAB bubble and become aware of situations besides their own. They can provide resources for those without, and address needs in the community.
Sign-in began at 9 a.m. on the Green. Students were able to choose from sites all around Birmingham. Once a student chooses a site, he/she is sent with a group of fellow volunteers to serve Birmingham in honor of UAB. Participating sites include American Kidney Society, Aldridge Gardens, Birmingham Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Ronald McDonald House, Vulcan Park, and many more.
For some students, Into the Streets can be a life-changing experience.
“Seeing the work that hundreds of college students can do in only a few hours has given me a new perspective about what I can do as a change-agent,” said senior Erica Smith, a four year Into the Streets volunteer.
One moment in particular tends to stand out to people who serve in Into The Streets; in this case, for volunteer Andrew McGiniis, it was painting the house of an older woman. He recalls her as being so touched that so many people came out to the area to help others, leaving McGinniis remarking that:
“The sense that I’m doing something for the greater good, where the day wasn’t just about me doing something for myself, but rather helping the community around me.”
Into the Streets was started at UAB with the Student Leadership Office in the spring, 1999. The event is held in November and March of each year on a Saturday. It is organized by the Leadership and Service Council. Bi-annually, there are about 850 students who serve in different areas around Birmingham. For more information, about volunteer opportunities visit UAB Leadership and Service Council’s website.