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UHV students volunteer at area nonprofits for Day of Service

Makayla Hargrove, front, an Austin junior, and Karen Williams, a Seguin sophomore, play with some of the dogs available for adoption at Adopt-A-Pet Saturday during the University of Houston-Victoria Jags Join In – Day of Service. Students also volunteered with Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity and Food Bank of the Golden Crescent.

A group of University of Houston-Victoria students spent Saturday morning giving back to the community.

Kaleb Briscoe

Forty-two students took part in UHV Jags Join In – Day of Service. They worked with three Victoria charities: Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and Adopt-A-Pet.

“Jags Join In is a great opportunity for UHV students to immerse themselves in service projects,” said Kaleb Briscoe, UHV Student Life associate director. “Many of our students enjoy helping out, and it gives them a good look into what kind of volunteer work is needed in our community.”

The number of students taking part in Jags Join In was double from the previous year, said Michael Wilkinson, UHV Student Life & Services director.

“It’s very exciting to see so many of them giving back and making their mark on our community,” he said. “Our students transform themselves in many positive ways by engaging in service projects.”

Michael Wilkinson

As part of the Habitat for Humanity project, students worked at two sites. One group helped build a house while another group cleaned the nonprofit organization’s warehouse. Students who assisted at the Food Bank stocked shelves with food products, sorted boxes and prepared the warehouse to receive more food.

After volunteering at those locations, some students went to Adopt-A-Pet, where they spent time doing everything from wiping down windows, cleaning kennels and folding brochures to socializing with dogs and cats available for adoption.

“Exposure to multiple people helps the animals become comfortable around humans and helps them get adopted,” said Carol Klages, a UHV associate professor of curriculum instruction and president of the Adopt-A-Pet Board of Directors. “It’s important for people to see what we do here. It’s not always warm and fuzzy; we’ve got to do the dirty work, too.”

Carol Klages

Karen Williams, a sophomore communications major from Seguin, and Makayla Hargrove, a junior communications major from Austin, spent time playing with a few of the dogs at Adopt-A-Pet.

“I like to volunteer, especially when there’s the bonus of getting to play with animals,” Hargrove said. “I volunteered at Adopt-A-Pet a few times during my freshman year, and it’s good to come back and see they’re still here helping homeless animals.”

Williams grew up around animals on her family land near Seguin. She eventually hopes to build her own shelter on that land.

“I used to volunteer at a shelter in my hometown,” she said. “Events like Jags Join In show volunteers how kindhearted the people who run these places are. I don’t think any person or pet should be homeless or hungry.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.