As National Volunteer Week draws to a close, I would like to share with you the work and accomplishments of the Volunteer and Service Learning Center at UCSB. The work of the Associated Students Community Affairs Board is representative of the work and community service that the students, staff and faculty have contributed to the SB community this past school year. Over 3,000 students have benefited through volunteer service each year, with some of our students continuing their service by joining the Peace Corps, Teach for America and AmeriCorps – a few of the many opportunities that are available after graduation.

C.A.B., the Professional Women’s Association and community partners collected and assembled, with school supplies, 87 backpacks and 200 pencil boxes. The backpacks were distributed to sites throughout North and South County, including Isla Vista, for low-income elementary and middle-school children returning to school in the fall.

This past fall, we hosted a community volunteer fair in which over 60 local organizations shared their volunteer opportunities with students and staff.

C.A.B. provided tutoring services to over 80 families in I.V., Goleta and Santa Barbara with our Family Literacy Program. FLP tutors spend 1-2 hours a week with families that request a tutor to read with their children each week.

UCSB volunteers have been involved with local beach cleanups; work with seniors at Friendship Manor; tutoring and mentoring in our local schools; work on environmental issues; work with developmentally disabled youth and adults; coaching and cheering for participants in Special Olympics; providing food for the homeless, not only during the holidays but on a weekly basis; and hosting and co-sponsoring projects such as blood donation, bone marrow screening, and fund raising for many local organizations.

Recently, UCSB students held a ” Walk for Good Times,” with proceeds benefiting Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, a year-round, cost-free camping program for children with cancer and their families.

C.A.B. volunteers also recently organized and participated in a Disability Awareness Week, which aimed to increase knowledge and appreciation of different disabilities that affect people in the UCSB and Santa Barbara communities.

Our volunteer celebration continues this week, May 5-8, as C.A.B. recognizes the many student, staff and faculty volunteers, and community partners, for their work. If you would like to find out more about what we do and would like to become involved, please contact us at 893-4296 or visit us at

James K. To is associate director for Community Affairs Board.