By Quinn Western, social media and photography intern
‘Cats spent Monday making a difference in Chico by volunteering on their day off. Roughly 160 students took part in ‘Cats in the Community on Cesar Chavez Day, honoring Chavez’s legacy by giving back to the community.
JW Dobbe, the Associated Students commissioner of community affairs, said he received great feedback from all the sites where students volunteered. Community members said that the day was a lot of fun and they were very appreciative of the students coming out and making such a large difference, he added.
“It was a successful event,” Dobbe said. “One of the sites, Kentfield Garden, said it would have taken them 40 hours to do the work the students did in two and a half hours on Monday.”
JW Dobbe, the Associated Students commissioner of community affairs, speaks to a crowd of students and faculty on a damp morning in the Bell Memorial Union courtyard. Roughly 160 student volunteers gathered on Cesar Chavez to spend their day off giving back to the community.
Students check in to receive a breakfast, volunteer location, and raffle tickets to use during the afternoon’s activities. Most students signed up in advance and picked a location where they would prefer to volunteer.
While Liz Chavez Villarino was unable to speak the morning of the event, her husband and former member of the United Farm Workers Union, David Villarino, took the podium. “Change entails sacrifice,” he said in his speech.
After listening to speakers, students congregate around their designated paw. The biggest crowd formed around the group headed to the Boys and Girls Club.
Students prepare for a morning of volunteer work at places including the Butte Humane Society, Jesus Center, and the fire department. Other student groups ventured out to clean up Bidwell Park and wash windows at Trinity Church.
Rain starts to drizzle as student volunteers arrive at the Boys and Girls Club. There, the helpers moved furniture and cleaned.
Alvin gets a lift. The life-sized chipmunks were just a few of the quirky activities the students got to help with.
Freshman biology major Alejandra Arellano, who is also a member of CAVE, didn’t choose a volunteer location when she signed up. “It doesn’t matter to me, as long as I’m volunteering,” she said.
Connor Sobon (right), a freshman psychology and marketing double major, and Nate Mash (left),a freshman history major, scout out trash in Lower Bidwell Park.
Kou Her, a senior majoring in social science with an emphasis in career life planning, washes windows at Trinity Church. “We all live in a fast-paced world,” he said. “Every opportunity I can, I am out here volunteering.”
Sobon, the University Village president, and Mash, the president for Shasta and Lassen, cover the grounds from One Mile to where the park meets downtown. “I like doing this because I come here every single day, so I like to keep things clean,” Sobon said.
Kristin Brown, a sophomore business marketing major, is another CAVE volunteer washing windows at Trinity Church. “Why not take every opportunity to make a difference in your community?” she said.
As the cleaning and moving start to wind down and the rain starts to pick up, the volunteers head to the WREC for post-work activities.