All posts by Promise Coordinator

Embrace winter while looking ahead to spring with Pierce County Parks & Recreation

Winter is here and spring will soon follow. Parks & Recreation’s winter/spring activity guide has been released and now is the time to register for your favorite programs.

Pierce County Parks & Recreation offers a broad and diverse selection of programs and events for all abilities and ages, from toddlers to teens, and active adults too. Browse the latest issue of the online program guide and pick your favorite events and programs to participate in.

Class descriptions, schedules, along with registration instructions and forms, are in the winter/spring activity guide. You can also request a hardcopy.

Signing up is easy! Register online or call 253-798-4177.

Pierce College celebrates 50 years with service to the community

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Throughout the year, Pierce College staff, faculty and students will celebrate 50 years by spending time giving back to the community. Members of the college community will have an opportunity to take part in a variety of service projects throughout the year, ranging from sprucing up local parks to preparing food for local food banks and shelters.

All members of the Pierce College community are welcome and encouraged to participate in upcoming service projects. “Pierce College has been in the community for 50 years and it’s our turn to give back to the people who have supported us,” said Community Engagement Coordinator Becky Anderson. “The rewards you receive from volunteering in the community far outweigh the time and service you’re providing.”

Students and employees will have an opportunity to participate in a number of service projects throughout winter quarter, including:

Map-A-Thon, in partnership with American Red Cross South Puget Sound Chapter – Friday, Jan. 20 at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom from 2- 3 p.m.
Each year, disasters around the world impact more than 200 million people, often in locations that are literally missing from traditional maps. Many first responders lack vital information that could significantly help relief efforts. Volunteers will participate in Missing Maps, an open, collaborative project in which you can help map areas where humanitarian organizations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people.

Applesauce making, in partnership with the Center for Food Preservation Arts – Saturday, Jan. 14 at Trinity Lutheran Church from 2-6 p.m.
Volunteers will preserve shelf stable applesauce for distribution through emergency food systems. This event is a fun and educational way to give back to the community.

L’Arche Tacoma Hope Farm, Friday, Feb. 3 from 1-4 p.m.
Volunteers will help throughout the farm, prepping rows for planting peas, planting baskets, preparing seeds and more.

Smoke alarm installation for families in need, in partnership with American Red Cross South Puget Sound Chapter at 1235 S. Tacoma Way from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 66,000 disasters annually, the vast majority of which are home fires. The organization set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent by 2020. Volunteers will go door-to-door in neighborhoods that are high-risk for fires to deliver fire safety information and install smoke alarms.

Graham/South Hill Food Bank, in partnership with FISH Food Banks of Pierce County – Friday, Feb. 17 at Holy Disciples Catholic Church from 2-5 p.m.
Volunteers will sort food products, repackage bulk foods into smaller portions for distribution, restack shelves and break down boxes.

Mother Earth Farms, in partnership with Emergency Food Network – Friday, March 3 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Mother Earth Farms is a unique farm-to-table program providing a fresh, organic food option to individuals and families in need within Pierce County. Volunteers will help with planting, weeding, irrigation and harvesting. Be prepared to learn about farming, play in the dirt and have some fun while making a real difference in the community!

For more information on all upcoming service learning events and to register as a volunteer, please visit www.facebook.com/piercecollegeslce.

Story reprinted, with permission, from Pierce News website.

#GivingTuesday Raises Emergency Support for Students

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The Clover Park Technical College Foundation received a boost to its emergency assistance programs for the 2016 holiday season, surpassing its fundraising goal of $2,500 as part of the worldwide #GivingTuesday event earlier this week.

15289285_1297641836953489_8292969342752265608_oThis is the first year CPTC has participated in #GivingTuesday, which began in 2012 and celebrated its fifth year on Nov. 29. According to the website www.givingtuesday.org, “#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”

For CPTC Foundation executive director Lyman Gifford, the event provided a perfect opportunity to promote student success and raise funds for the Foundation’s emergency assistance programs.

“We do a lot to help students through emergency assistance, so we’re trying to make sure we have sufficient funds to help in that category and program,” Gifford said. “In 2016, we have helped more than 200 students, and that help comes in the forms of funds like Holiday House and the Emerging Butterflies Fund that helps with basic needs for families like diapers and socks.”Gifford and the Foundation staff set an ambitious goal of $2,500, and promoted the event online and around campus. The online giving form also included a menu where contributors could select where they wanted their donation to go. Options included winter heat, food for one week, socks and boots for children, holiday gifts for children, or other (with a note to specify). This helped ensure contributors knew exactly what kind of a meaningful difference their donation will make in the lives of CPTC students and their families this holiday season.

“More than 60 percent of students who receive assistance have either graduated or are still attending school, so it’s a pretty significant positive impact helping students be able to stay in school and complete their education,” Gifford said. “What colleges across the country have found is that little bit of help during an emergency makes a big difference. For us, our two biggest areas where we help students are in housing and utilities costs. So our whole end-of-year giving emphasis right now is on emergency assistance. That’s everything we’re focusing on.”

CPTC student and Foundation intern Chanel Cruz took a significant leadership role in the event planning and implementation.

“She was awesome,” Gifford said. “This was her project for this quarter, and it went really well.”In terms of numbers, more than $2,000 came in by the end of the day Tuesday. And even more has come in since. As of Friday morning, 52 different donors have contributed $2,501. The Foundation staff established the goal knowing it would be a reach; needless to say, they are thrilled with the result.

“We talked to a lot of people, and the online portal was busy all day,” Gifford said. “People were engaged and excited, and we got a lot of first-time donors. We wanted a goal that stretched us a little bit but also was reasonable, and we felt like $2,500 was exactly that.”

With each dollar set to support student needs this holiday season, the Foundation hopes people will continue to contribute. The donation form will be available online through the end of the year.

“While #GivingTuesday is one day, it’s really launching our end-of-year giving,” Gifford said. “It’s not just about what came in that day, but what comes in for our year-end giving to provide emergency assistance to students.”

To donate to the CPTC Foundation’s emergency assistance funds as part of the #GivingTuesday event, click here.