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TCU 360

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New service group to be extension of TCU LEAPS

The spring semester might see the creation of a new campus-wide service initiative. HOPS (Helping Other People Serve) is an extension of the efforts started by the TCU LEAPS project and will focus on continued service throughout the year to several service sites, a university official said.

Mary Kathleen Baldwin, assistant director for the Center for Community Involvement and Service-Learning, said the idea came from discussions among the LEAPS executive team and her office in an effort to create a follow-up to the one day of service LEAPS provides students.

“The main goal for HOPS is to provide a more continuous opportunity for campus-wide service,” Baldwin said. “It would be a chance to re-visit some of the sites that people may have visited during LEAPS and create a more sustained commitment to the community.

Intended to be a yearlong project, HOPS would take place once a month with sites ranging from one campus-wide service option to groups attending three or four smaller sites, Baldwin said. HOPS will be a collaborative project, and the next stage of planning is seeking input from LEAPS team leaders and other student service organizations on campus to learn what to expect from the program.

Abby Osvog, a junior marketing major and LEAPS publicity chair, said HOPS is an alternative option for students who could not participate in LEAPS that provides opportunities throughout the semester for students to follow up on some of the projects LEAPS started. LEAPS is offered both in fall and spring semesters.

“The whole point of LEAPS is to encourage people to get involved in the community, so HOPS would just kind of be a continuation of that,” Osvog said.

Mark Munns, a senior neuroscience major and LEAPS director, said some agencies could not participate in LEAPS because it was on a Saturday and the event was planned far in advance. The new program might allow those agencies to participate because students could help with events and projects on other days.

The goal of HOPS is to have students volunteer more often in the community, Munns said.

“LEAPS is great because it’s one day and it brings so many people together, but we always try to encourage people to kind of go back, and serve and do more than just that one day,” Munns said.

Baldwin said the LEAPS executive team has applied for additional funding for HOPS and is waiting to hear about the decision, which she said will determine the scale of the program.

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