Washington DC Anacostia Watershed Society
Washington DC Anacostia Watershed Society
Cherry Creek Trail cleanup
Fort Collins United Way
Published: July 11, 2022 By

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Buffs Give Back returned in force this spring. 

The revival of this annual volunteer event gave around 80 CU alumni the opportunity to perform meaningful work for their communities across the country. Each local event was coordinated by an alumni volunteer, who helped select and plan the project and recruit fellow volunteers. 

Vanessa Lopez (Bus, EthnSt’09) was the project leader for the Boulder area, organizing a day of support at the Marshall Fire Donation Center with the CU Boulder Latinx Club and Forever Buffs Boulder alumni chapter. The group spent the day unpacking, sorting and shelving donations for individuals impacted by the fires in Superior, Louisville and unincorporated Boulder County.

“I know our work may have been a small part of the rebuilding effort, but it takes a lot of small acts to help make it to the finish line,” said Lopez, who has participated in four Buffs Give Back projects to date.

All told, nine different CU volunteer groups in Colorado, Florida, Oregon, California and Washington, D.C., helped clean up parks and beaches, volunteered at food pantries, restored river habitats and provided support for their communities. 

“I don’t think your college experience ends when you graduate — we have to continue to help build up the future generations of Buffs, and a great way to do that is through connecting with others in the community,” said Lopez. 

“While we all can’t reach global or even national recognition for our contributions to society, we all are capable of making an important impact in someone’s life.”

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Photos courtesy CU Boulder Alumni Association