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Get involved in the U’s annual Community Engagement Day on April 14 by donating nonperishable items to the U’s Feed U food pantry, knitting a hat for the homeless and more.

By David Fisher, communications intern, University of Utah Marketing and Communications and Annalisa Purser, communications specialist, University of Utah Marketing and Communications

A tradition that began the year President David W. Pershing was inaugurated, Community Engagement Day celebrates the important relationship between the community and the University of Utah. This year’s celebration takes place April 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Enagement Day '15-67A Do-A-Thon will take place on the Union plaza during Community Engagement Day, providing a central location for the university community to come together to participate in service activities, including tying blankets, knitting hats and donating food to those in need.

“We wanted to bring everyone together in one central location to create a sense of unity and excitement,” said Sandi Pershing, assistant vice president of the U’s Office of Engagement and co-chair of the event. “The day will focus on giving back to the community that supports this university and supporting those in need on our own campus.”

There will be a focus on collecting non-perishable food items for the U’s Feed U Food Pantry, which opened more than a year ago after a survey showed that 51 percent of U student survey respondents met criteria for being food insecure, meaning they lacked access to quality food. Tours of the pantry, located in the Campus Store, will be available throughout the day.

Community Engagement Day events include:

U Recycle Day: E-waste, paper shredding and food drive
Southwest corner of the Rice-Eccles Stadium Parking Lot
8 a.m.-noon

Drop off your electronics and personal documents for recycling and donate food to the Feed U Food Pantry. The event is free, but please note that no university property or business waste will be accepted. For a list of accepted electronics, visit Metech Recycling’s website.

Blanket tying
Union Plaza
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Those on campus are invited to tie toddler-sized fleece blankets to benefit the University of Utah child care program. After tying, Presidential Ambassadors will take attendees on a tour of the Feed U Food Pantry to raise awareness of food insecurity on campus.

Hair Cuts for a Cause
Union Plaza
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Members of the campus community will pay what they can for a haircut from Sport Clips stylists at the Union Programming Council’s haircut station. All money collected will be donated to the Women’s Resource Center Emergency Fund, which is used to assist students with unexpected costs, such as books, lab fees, child care costs, etc.

Health Services table
Union Plaza
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Stop by to learn about the services available on campus and to the community through the Student Health Clinic and Fourth Street Clinic. Between 10 a.m. and noon, medical students will be available to provide free health screenings, including blood pressure and heart rate information.

Knitting necessities
Union Plaza
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Join the Bennion Center to knit hats. No knitting experience is necessary, and a hat can be completed in less than an hour. All hats will be donated to Primary Children’s Hospital and the Road Home.

Legal Services
Union Plaza
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The S.J. Quinney College of Law Pro Bono Initiative will provide two fellows who will provide information about legal clinics and legal services available to homeless and indigent clients in the Salt Lake Valley.

What U Can Do
Union Plaza
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Make a donation of food or money to the Feed U Food Pantry and spin a wheel for a chance to enter the University Credit Union money booth. Participants can also learn about volunteer opportunities on and off campus.

Hinckley Forum on homelessness
Orson Spencer Hall, Hinckley Caucus Room, Room 255
Noon-1 p.m.

The director of Basic Needs Services Dennis Kelsch, along with an employee from Catholic Community Services who was previously homeless, will discuss homelessness in the community. They will speak about the stigma of being homeless, resources that the community provides and ways students can help. The event is sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Science Ambassadors.