Programs

INDEPENDENCE ADVOCACY

Ability Advocates is a CCO program that works with and strives to empower people with disabilities. This program volunteers with Cottonwood Inc.  and Transition to Postsecondary Education, non-profits in Lawrence that work to maximize the independence of people with disabilities through advocacy, peer support, training, transportation, and community education.

Click here to fill out an application and check out available volunteer needs with Ability Advocates.

Email aadvocates@ku.edu with any questions or concerns.

The Ability Advocates logo means “connect” in American Sign Language (ASL).

Program Coordinators: Aarthi Aruna, CJ Hewins, Hannah Loub, and Saif Malik

Office Hours: Tuesdays 5:30-6:30pm

CONCERNED ACTIVE & AWARE STUDENTS

CAAS (Concerned, Active, and Aware Students) develops advocacy programs, events, and activities to raise awareness of issues facing KU, Lawrence, and global communities.

CAAS currently hosts a monthly advocacy series called Activism 101, each revolving around a different issue facing communities. One Activism 101 had the founder of KC for Refugees educate students about the current refugee crisis and how we can help new refugee families in our community through service. Like “Center for Community Outreach” on Facebook to stay up to date with upcoming Activism 101 events!

Click here to view all available opportunities with CAAS or email caas@ku.edu to get involved!

Follow CAAS on instagram @caas_cco

Program Coordinators: Bhavya Gupta, Sahar Baha, Arsalan Zafar, and Wazi Asjad

Office Hours: Tuesday 6:00-7:00pm

ARTS ENGAGEMENT AND EDUCATION

Create aims to promote arts education, engagement, and advocacy in the Lawrence community. We use art to connect with community partners such as Van Go and the Lawrence Arts Center. Additionally, we work to connect students with art in their daily lives on campus through events such as card-making, painting, and journaling.

Click here to view available opportunities or email create@ku.edu to get involved.

Follow us on Instagram @create_cco

Program Coordinators: Rebecca Suku, Trisha Nair, and Mahnoor Siddiqui

Office Hours: Thursdays 3:00-4:00pm

ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY

Earth focuses on promoting and engaging in outdoor, environmental sustainability practices on campus and in the community. Earth also provides opportunities for students to learn about the relationships between food, the environment and local food producers. Earth sends out volunteers to various campus and community gardens that need maintenance such as the Little Prairie Donation Garden, the Just Food Garden, and the Prairie Park Nature Center.

Click here to view available opportunities or email earth@ku.edu if you are interested!

Interested in getting involved in the KU Student Garden? Become a KU Student Gardener!

What is KU Student Gardeners?

KU Student Gardeners program run by our Earth program allows students to take on more responsibility as a volunteer in the Campus Garden. The Earth Campus Garden is a 1,600 square foot garden on West campus that is designed to produce food for KU. All the produce goes to the campus cupboard and becomes available to our KU community for free. 

What do I do as a KU Student Gardener?

KU Student Gardeners will be trained in basic gardening skills (what to harvest and when, weeds vs vegetables, ect.), and expected to garden without the supervision of the Earth coordinators. Tasks will include: watering, weeding, harvesting, planting. We have work available from March to November, but you can apply at any time. 

KU Student Gardeners are not required to attend all the garden work days on our website, but ARE required to complete the hours signed up for each week and maintain a consistent schedule during their active dates.

Why should I apply to be a KU Student Gardener?

Gardening has many positive benefits! Some of the things you will find working with us include:

  • Getting involved on your own terms: You can create your own schedule for working in the garden. This is great for busy college students who might not be able to attend events, but still want to get involved in their campus
  • Helping a worthy cause: you will be helping us provide food to the KU community and fight food insecurity
  • Stress reliever: many people find the ability to be outside and working with their hands stress relieving. Studies have even shown that it can help fight depression. 
  • Valuable skills: the things you learn as a KU Student Gardener can help you with indoor plants, vegetable gardens of your own, eating healthy and sustainability, and so much more.
  • Gain outdoor experience and expertise: you can put this on applications or resumes to help show your qualifications and experience in a horticulture setting. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at earth@ku.edu. We can’t wait to garden with you!

Follow us on Instagram: @earth_cco

Program Coordinators: Paige Deeken, Sarah Reuben-Hallock, Jivanjot Whar, and Nidia Lazos

Office Hours: Monday 6:00-7:00pm

FOOD SECURITY

Food Flawk is a program that works to decrease food insecurity and promote food recovery amongst the KU student population. Food Flawk was formerly known as Campus Cupboard and worked exclusively to support food insecure students, faculty, and staff. Beginning in 2023, however, the program expanded to decrease food waste and promote sustainability.

Please email cupboard@ku.edu if you are interested in volunteering or have any questions.

Our History

The Food Flawk was originally founded in 2009 as a CCO program named Daily Bread that partnered with Just Food and the Ecumenical Campus Ministries (ECM) as a student initiative to develop a food pantry for KU students, where it eventually adopted the moniker, the Campus Cupboard. In March of 2015, the Campus Cupboard was relocated to the Westwood House in the Lutheran Campus Ministries (LCM). In the 2016-2017 academic year, the Executive Director of the KU Center for Community Outreach surveyed second-, third- and fourth-year undergraduates as part of their honors thesis and found that 54% of respondents could be considered food insecure under U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, with 35% exhibiting very low food security, the department’s most severe category of food insecurity. This realization initiated an immense effort to expand the Campus Cupboard partnership with Just Food to expand its services on KU’s campus.

In September of 2018, the Campus Cupboard was successfully opened, in partnership with KU Student Affairs, in the Kansas Union on the fourth floor, where it currently serves all KU students and faculty. This evolution was a prime example of the University’s response to food insecurity, which had been driven by students, but was increasingly backed by administrative buy-in. Largely responsible for the move were Katie Phalen and Insia Zufer, who were the Co-Directors of the CCO in the academic year 2017-2018. During Phalen and Zufer’s tenure, the CCO also joined a new effort headed by KU Student Affairs, the Food for Jayhawks committee made up of staff, faculty, students and community members. The group’s main charge is ending food insecurity on campus by improving student access to healthy food and food resources with collaborations among KU departments and community agencies. Today, the Campus Cupboard remains a student-led initiative that operates in coordination with Just Food and KU Student Affairs to address food insecurity on KU’s campus.

Program Coordinators: Jeannine Lopez, Mia Reddy, and Ali Khan

Office Hours: Thursday 2:30-3:30pm

HEALTH EDUCATION AND WELLNESS

Hawks for Health strives to:

  • Empower local communities through health education.
  • Collaboratively advocate alongside local health departments and agencies.
  • Meaningfully engage in health promotive services

Marketplace Insurance: During the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) of Marketplace Insurance, we will be assisting consumers, small businesses, and employees in employing healthcare coverage and affordability programs. This initiative will be equipping low socioeconomic individuals with access to healthcare coverage within the Douglas County community.

SNAP/Housing Assistance: A recent partnership with the Lawrence Public Library, assistance will be provided to local community members within Lawrence for enrollment within SNAP (food stamp) programs, alongside assistance with housing/utility subsidies through state and nationwide programs.

COVID Monitoring: Another initiative we have is to prioritize public health within the campus and the community of Lawrence. We offer COVID testing drives several times throughout the year with several incentives in order to keep students aware of their physical health. Drives will be coordinated on a need-based agenda (if cases are high during the time or if there is a break upcoming).

Here is a list of independent health-related volunteering opportunities in the Douglas County area:

For more information, email the coordinators at h4h@ku.edu.

Follow us on Instagram: @hawksforhealth

Program Coordinators: Samson Mah, Fatemeh Farassati, Anjali Singh

Office Hour: Friday 3:30-4:30pm

Marketplace Training Video

MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY

Hawks Mind is currently transitioning to focus on supporting individuals experiencing domestic and/or relationship violence, as well as initiatives to advance gender equity.
Through Hawks Mind’s work with students, KU faculty and administrators, and our community partners, the program aims to provide meaningful opportunities for involvement.
Program coordinators: Inaya Khan, Shriya Gunturu, Isha Pirani, and Priyatam Nuney.

Email: hawksmind@ku.edu
Instagram: @hawksmind_cco
Office Hours: Tuesdays 5:30 – 6:30 pm

HELPING UNITE GENERATIONS

HUG establishes relationships with older members of the community. HUG visits local retirement homes weekly with volunteers to build inter-generational relationships through activities with residents such as crafts, community dances and playing games. HUG coordinates several special programs throughout the semester to pair service groups and classes at KU to connect members of all generations throughout the community.

Current opportunities include volunteering with Senior Resource Center, Windsor of Lawrence, and Meals on Wheels.

Click here to check out these opportunities or email hug@ku.edu if interested!

Follow us on Instagram @hug_cco

Program Coordinators: Aditya Vargheese, Marina Bontrager, Deeshana Nilaweera, and Shahru Malik

Office Hours: Tuesdays 8:00-9:00pm

ANIMAL ADVOCACY AND EDUCATION

The mission of Jaypaws is to empower the Douglas County community, in collaboration with our community partners Prairie Park, Lawrence Humane Society, and Loving Paws Animal Therapy, with the knowledge and compassion to respect and advocate for the safety and well-being of all animals.

Program Coordinators: Mali Vincent, and Alexa Magstadt

Office Hours: Tuesday 1:00-2:00pm

Instagram: @jaypaws_cco

COMMUNITY BREAKFAST PROGRAM

Jubilee Cafe provides breakfast for in-need community members in a restaurant-style environment. The volunteering program runs from 6:15AM to approximately 8:15AM Tuesday and Friday mornings at the First United Methodist Church, 946 Vermont Street.

Jubilee Cafe is a popular volunteer activity and often operates at volunteer capacity during the academic year. In order to assure positive volunteer experiences and efficiently serve breakfast, Jubilee requires groups to reserve a date to volunteer. Open shifts can be found at this link!

Individuals can register by clicking the “Respond” button for the shift they want. Groups can also register as a team. Reservations are made on a first come, first serve basis, and all individuals who volunteer must be registered on volunteer.ku.edu If a shift is full, volunteers will need to make arrangements for a different day. Please be aware that you are not allowed to cancel your shift with less than 24 hours of advanced notice.

Email jubilee@ku.edu for more information.

Program Coordinators: Maddie Halabi, Vidur Pandiripally, Molly Kalthoff, and Faran Zufer

Office Hours: Thursday 4:00-5:00pm

MENTORS IN THE LIVES OF KIDS

MILK’s Community Partners:

Big Brothers Big Sisters

This program matches youth facing adversity with mentors in a one-to-one mentoring relationship. Bigs help inspire greater self-confidence, better academic performance, and dreams for the future that will change their life for the better, forever.

Bigs must be older than 18 years old and dedicate at least 1 hour per week, but times are flexible.

You can sign up for an information session here: https://bbbs.tfaforms.net/4840755

Center for Supportive Communities

CSC works with elementary, middle, and high school students participating in our SupportED program. SupportED is a community-based diversion program for truant children and youth in Douglas County. Mentors work alongside families and schools in a collaborative effort to divert children from court involvement. We strive to ensure all Douglas County children and youth receive effective care and quality education.

The application process includes a form using this link, and an interview.

The Boys and Girls Club

The BGC operates a mentorship program that works with students of all ages. Volunteers do a wide variety of activities with the kids, including reading with them and playing games.

Please click here to find all of the available volunteer needs provided through MILK!

Regular volunteering schedule (same time every week)
2:00-6:00 PM Monday – Friday.
If you have any questions, please email the MILK coordinators at milk@ku.edu.

Program Coordinators: Anya Asjad, Hoang Viet Le, Hamdan Tariq, and Kruti Nataraj

Office Hours: Tuesdays 6:00-7:00pm

MUSIC EDUCATION

KU student mentors teach free instrumental and vocal music lessons to junior high and elementary school students in Lawrence. Music Mentors focuses on providing music education to area students who would not otherwise be able to afford this resource.

If you are a KU student wanting to become a Music Mentor, click here

If you are a parent wanting your child to be matched with a mentor, click here

Contact the coordinators at mmentors@ku.edu with any questions or concerns!

Program Coordinators: Hassan Ahad, Abhi Cheedella, and Evelyn Gurske

Office Hours: Tuesday 11:30am-12:30pm

LITERACY ADVOCACY FOR ALL LANGUAGES

Who Are We

Project Bridge is a literacy advocacy group for all languages. The program focuses on placing volunteers at sites to either tutor or mentor English as a second Language (ESL) students. These sites include the Lawrence Public Schools.

What We Do

Use your passion for languages, cultures, and conversations to volunteer with Project Bridge! Volunteers serve as academic tutors and mentors at local Lawrence schools. For more information, please email the Project Bridge coordinators.

Click here to see all available volunteer needs that Project Bridge offers!

Email the coordinators at pbridge@ku.edu if interested in participating or volunteering.

Program Coordinators: Atrooba Hashim, Sumaya Ahmed, Jyoshika Padmanaban, and Nirali Patel

Office Hours: Wednesday 4:00-5:00pm