About CU in the Community

CU in the Community is a series of one-time, student-led volunteer projects offered each semester in collaboration with local nonprofit organizations. Projects are based on community needs and include various types of service related to social and environmental justice. All students are invited to participate in any and all volunteer projects to gain understanding of social and environmental issues, engage in direct service, reflect on their impact and learn about continued engagement in communities. This program is a great opportunity for students who are looking to get involved, make new connections, practice their leadership skills or simply to spend a day engaged making a positive impact.

General information for participants 

 CU in the CommunityChoose a project and sign up to participate, no experience necessary. Students who sign up to volunteer for CU in the Community projects will receive a detailed reminder email related to their unique project the week of the event with information about where to check in, what to wear and what to bring. In general, we recommend that volunteers bring plenty of drinking water and any other personal care supplies necessary to be active and engaged. Volunteers are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes and layers appropriate for Colorado weather and/or indoor tasks specific to projects.

Food and transportation are provided!

Your involvement is more impactful than you may think! Please be mindful that signing up for a project and not showing up the day of and/or canceling last minute impacts resources used for food and transportation, community organizations who are counting on volunteers to help them meet their goals, and other students who want to participate. If you must cancel, please do so as far in advance as possible so that other students have the opportunity to participate and to help ensure that there are enough volunteers committed to meet the goals of the project. If you sign up for a project, please plan to attend and participate.

Contact vrcevents@colorado.edu with questions and requests for accommodations.

Spring 2023 projects

This spring, CU in the Community projects will be offered as needed by the community, on a monthly basis and include the opportunities listed below. We will be kicking off the semester celebrating MLK day, and more projects will be available soon!

  • Volunteer with the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center provides compassionate care to orphaned, injured and sick wildlife. Volunteers will work to beautify the centers grounds and help maintain a safe space for the wild patients in their care. Volunteers will not work directly with the animals, but will play a crucial part in supporting efforts to protect local wildlife at Colorados largest wildlife rehabilitation center. The project will include cleaning animal condos, setting-up enrichment and completing other yard work.

National Volunteer Week and Earth Day projects

National Volunteer WeekNational Volunteer Week takes place the third week of April and celebrates volunteers and the impact they have. Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to foster support for environmental protection. We are offering several projects you can choose from to give back during this week!


  • Boulder Creek Cleanup. Join the VRC Joint Board and the City of Boulder to clean up parts of Boulder Creek. We will be picking up and bagging trash along the creek.
  • Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit animal sanctuary for abused or neglected farmed animals. Our rescued residents include cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, horses, goats, donkeys, sheep and ducks. Volunteers will help with cleaning resident living areas, replenishing food and water, helping to keep other areas of the sanctuary clean and organized, and giving the animals some love and attention. Each task directly contributes to the absolute best quality of care for our residents! Prior experience caring for farmed animals is helpful, but not necessary to get involved! Our staff and volunteer guides will teach you everything you need to know to care for our residents.
  • Make blankets for A Precious Child. A Precious Child provides children in need with opportunities and resources to empower them to achieve their full potential. They envisions every child growing up to be a secure, self-reliant, contributing member of their community. They provide basic essentials to children and families in Colorado that are poverty-stricken, homeless, abused, at-risk or facing a huge life challenge and without access to basic needs through its twelve programs. Essentials distributed to disadvantaged and displaced children include, but are not limited to clothing, coats, shoes, blankets, sports equipment, school supplies and toiletries. Join the Volunteer Resource Center in crafting for this wonderful cause! We will be making no-sew fleece blankets that will later be donated to A Precious Child. We will provide all materials and instructions onsite. No prior blanket-making experience is required. The shift is open all day – feel free to come and go as you please, just be sure to update your CUServes hours accordingly. Staff will be onsite to help you with this.
  • Flatirons Habitat for Humanity is building new affordable and highly highly energy-efficient, fixed foundation homes in the Ponderosa Mobile Home Park, located near West Four Mile Canyon Creek. The Volunteer Resource Center will be assisting Flatirons Habitat for Humanity in the Ponderosa neighborhood. Volunteers can expect to be outside doing home construction work such as framing, siding and porch construction. Construction experience is welcome, but not necessary. Everyone is welcome to build with us!
  • Ralphie’s Green Stampede at the Spring Showcase Game with Senior Class Council. Help the Buffs make an impact on and off the field! In its 13 years, Ralphie’s Green Stampede has diverted more than one million pounds of recycling and compost from the landfill at CU football games. Volunteers will be zero-waste goalies stationed at waste stations around the stadium to help fans dispose of their waste properly. By running with the Green Stampede, you will gain valuable hands-on experience in sustainability as well as play a direct part in the conservation of thousands of pounds of material. Breakfast and meal tickets during the game will be provided.

Past Projects

  • Spend the day “on” for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This MLK Day, Center for African and African American Studies (CAAAS) and the VRC are teaming up to offer an opportunity in honor of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a nationally recognized day of service.  Join fellow CU Boulder students to spend the day “on” (instead of spending the day off) by connecting and participating in community celebrations in Denver. Meet on the UMC south terrace for introductions and breakfast, then travel as a group to downtown Denver to attend and participate in the march and parade community celebration hosted by the City of Denver. Food and transportation will be provided for those who sign up to participate. For CU Boulder community members who live in Denver, please feel free to join by meeting us at City Park.
  • Make Adventure Accessible with the Lockwood Foundation. The Lockwood Foundation is a community organization that creates opportunities for those with limited mobility to access to the trails and mountains in a way only community can. They currently use a combination of community and technology to create access to trails and adventures that are typically inaccessible or even considered impossible. Volunteers will support those with limited mobility in a “trail trial” up short trails at NCAR in Boulder, led by Lockwood Foundation trail leaders. Volunteers will assist adaptive athletes in small groups on a 20-30 minute outing and have time to rest between outings. 

Project lead opportunities

The VRC is recruiting students to serve as project leads for its CU in the Community projects throughout the spring. Project leads will be responsible for coordinating and directing volunteers during a one-time service opportunity with a local nonprofit. Students interested will be required to attend two one-hour training prior to their project but all project details, transportation, food and logistics will be coordinated by the Volunteer Resource Center. We’d love to CU in the Community!

Project Lead Interest Form

Non-profit collaborations

If you are a nonprofit organization interested in hosting a volunteer site during the spring 2023 semester, please tell us more about your project ideas and volunteer needs by filling out a project proposal.

Nonprofit Project Proposal