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UTEP student volunteers, prepare the Boys and Girls Club of El Paso for summer camp activities


EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- More than two dozen University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) students volunteered their weekend morning to helping the Boys and Girls Club of El Paso get ready for summer programs.

"If we if we don't come together as a community and support children, then we will see an uptake in crime. We see things in our community that we don't like," said Anthony Tomasheski, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of El Paso.

It is all part of National Volunteer Month celebrated in April throughout the country.

The goal is to celebrate the impact volunteers have in the community and encourage active volunteerism in other generations.

Tomasheski says many time people in the community see something that needs a change, but do not know how to make it better. He says we all have the same questions. Volunteering is one solution that answers most of those questions.

"What can I do to help? How can I make a difference in my community?"

The UTEP student volunteers are all from different academic fields. Including future teachers, business majors and nurses.

"Just all kinds of different individuals that decided they wanted to give up their Saturday to help make a difference for this community," added Tomasheski. "All different kinds of individuals that just say, it's Saturday, I'm here. What can I do to help?"

Volunteers say they do it because it makes them feel good helping the community.

"You're out, you're moving, you're working. It's a beautiful day. It's, I think, better to be out here than to be in bed," says Maurah Alvarez, UTEP President for Student Public Health. "So first we went ahead and we cleaned up the front a little bit by the windows. We went ahead and planted some succulents to make sure that the club looks good and nice and pretty for the individuals who are coming in the summer."

The students say the beauty of El Paso lies in the community members' ability to reach out and help.

"Programs like this are really important particularly for neighborhoods where you have one or both parents working to have a place that's safe where kids can go after school and they can do things and engage with each other and they're not jut home alone," said UTEP President Heather Wilson.

The Boys and Girls of El Paso summer camp officially opens June12th.

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