Helping Out the Hometown

By UM News

Helping Out the Hometown

By UM News
Hundreds of UM students give back to the community in one of the oldest service days at the University.

More than 300 University of Miami students from 17 student organizations spent part of last weekend giving back to the community during the annual Hurricanes Help the Hometown event.

“Hurricanes Help the Hometown is one of the two oldest service days on campus,” said Roly Calderin, senior and this year’s Homecoming Chair. “It is a staple of Homecoming week every single year and it pushes students to realize that while we all make up one University of Miami community, we also make up the Greater Miami community. It is important to give back during our time at UM.”

Part of this year’s Homecoming festivities, the students checked in at 9 a.m. Saturday, and were assigned to 11 locations throughout Miami-Dade County. The students spent three to four hours at their locations, which included Branches South Miami, Chapman Partnership, Fruit and Spice Park, International Children’s Outreach, Miami Children’s Initiative, Miami Children’s Museum, Special Olympics Florida, and the Tropical Audobon Society. Two groups stayed on campus to work with Urgent, Inc. and Treemendous Miami. 

Following the service hours, the students and student site leaders reflected on the importance of the event.

“Ultimately our goal was to help participants make a difference in the community while having a great time and getting excited for the week of Homecoming activities ahead,” said Hannah Abel, a junior and one of the co-chairs for the event. “Every group impacts their site in different ways, from cheering on flag football players at Special Olympics to pulling vines at Fruit and Spice Park.”

Continuing in the spirit of service on campus, the public is invited to participate in a Blood Drive from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, and Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the Student Activities Center (SAC) Grand Ballroom, located on the third floor. From noon-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the SAC Activities Rooms North and South, the UM community is invited to help put together hygiene kits for the nonprofit organization Clean the World.

To get involved with community service year-round, students are encouraged to visit the Butler Center for Service and Leadership.

Other events for Homecoming and Alumni Weekend 2014 include:

- Blood Drive: On Monday, October 27 and Tuesday, October 28, University of Miami students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other employees are encouraged to “Fill Your Quota” and donate blood in the SAC Grand Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Each donor must present a valid ‘Cane Card when signing in.

- Organized Cheer: Students will show the campus how “[]_[]’ve Got a Friend in Me” on Monday, October 27 at 7 p.m. on the SCC Lakeside Patio Stage. Inspired by the animated movie Toy Story, each organization is assigned a character from the movies to show their UM spirit through funny scripts and entertaining dances for a night of fun performances.

- On Campus Service Project: On Tuesday, October 28 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., SAC Activities Rooms North and South will be filled with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other employees to help create hygiene kits for the non-profit organization Clean the World. Just like in Monsters Inc., the event “2319!” will not only count for organization participation points but also give back to the global community.

- Homecoming King & Queen: The competition will be held Wednesday, October 29 at 8 p.m. in the SAC Grand Ballroom. Twelve contestants, six females and six males, will participate in the “Superhero Showdown” with an introduction, spirit round, talent round and poise round.

- Alma Mater Singing Competition: Organizations will “Just Keep Singing, Singing, Singing” during preliminaries on Friday, October 24 at 6 p.m. in the Rathskeller as they sing the alma mater, a creative rendition of it, and continue with a ‘Canes twist to other songs. The top three will continue to the finals on Thursday, October 30 at 10:45 a.m. at the SCC Rock Plaza.

- Spirit Tree: Immediately following the Alma Mater finals, Homecoming participants will walk to the Ashe Building and present a short skit to accompany its respective organization’s decorative ornament for the Spirit Tree on Thursday, October 30.

- Homecoming Concert: MATT AND KIM and FABOLOUS will perform at this year’s homecoming concert at the Bank United Center on Thursday, October 30 at 8 p.m. Student tickets are available at the UC ticket window. Faculty/Staff with a valid ‘Cane Card may pick up two tickets while supplies last from the Department of Student Activities (SAC 206). Alumni may reserve tickets by calling the University of Miami Alumni Association at 1-866-UMALUMS (862-5867) or 305-284-2872.

- Parade: UM's annual homecoming parade kicks off on Friday, October 31 at 7 p.m. and will run along Walsh Avenue, Merrick and Stanford Drive to celebrate “Spirit is Out There.” See colorful and spirited floats accompanied by music and dancers parade through campus. This event is free and open to the community.This year, cancer-free Miami Hurricanes football great Jim Kelly will serve as Grand Marshal for the 2014 Alumni Weekend and Homecoming festivities.

- Hurricane Howl: Immediately following the parade will be one of UM's most cherished traditions, the boat burning ceremony and fireworks on Friday, October 31 along the waterfront of Lake Osceola in the center of campus. The boat burning ceremony involves setting a wood boat on fire in the middle of the lake. Food trucks and Dory’s Block Party will open at 6 p.m. on Merrick and Stanford Drive, and the boat burning countdown starts at 8:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the community.

- Football Game: The Miami Hurricanes will host the North Carolina Rams at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, November 1. Grand Marshal Kelly will also serve as Honorary Captain for the Homecoming game, which has been declared a #KellyTough Green Out. All ‘Canes fans are encouraged to wear green to the game to show their support in the fight against cancer.