Hurricanes Lend a Helping Hand

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Not even the threat of a hurricane could stop a group of University of Miami students from displaying their civic pride to help the hometown. With Tropical Storm Isaac taking aim at South Florida, more than 250 students volunteered at nine nonprofit organizations across Miami-Dade County on August 25 as part of Orientation Outreach, an initiative in which students participate in various service projects.

Hosted yearly by the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development, Orientation Outreach provides first-year students with the chance to meet fellow ‘Canes and learn about places in Miami they might not normally visit.

“We are always excited to see so many first-year and even upperclassmen participate in this event,” said Andrew Wiemer, director of the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development, which hosted the event. “We were continuing to track [Isaac] throughout the morning. We had some sites cancel on us at the last minute, but we were able to place all students at sites, and the day was a success.”

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, The Miami G.R.O.W. Project, Miami River Commission, Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade, and the Tropical Audubon Society were among the nine nonprofits at which students volunteered.

“I had a really great experience in my first year,” said junior Roshni Patel, site leader at the Miami River Commission site. “My site leader made an impact on me in my first year and I wanted to do the same for the incoming freshmen.”

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