Join the Club
Hundreds of youth learn to read and sharpen their literacy skills each year at The Clubhouse, a free literacy outreach service provided through UF's College of Education (COE). Trained COE students, using proven teaching techniques and fun activities in 1-on-1 and group tutoring, and the 1882 reading club, helped youth reach their full reading potential. Clubhouse offerings are so popular that a waiting list usually exists for available programs. Last school year, the Clubhouse helped 345 local children sharpen their reading skills.
University student groups continuously support organizations addressing housing concerns, both nationally and internationally. In 2015, UF's Habitat for Humanity chapter built its first home for a local family with funds it painstakingly raised over several years. The campus chapter remains active by assisting Habitat for Humanity Findlay/Hancock County with building and rehabilitation projects. The chapter helped the organization's ReStore relocate across Findlay in 2018. In summer 2019, UF Global Village participants also traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico to volunteer for a Habitat build. In March, Cory Street Mall became home to Box City as part of Act! Speak! Build! Week, which is Habitat's international student-affiliated advocacy campaign. To educate the campus and community about homelessness, Habitat campus chapter members built structures out of cardboard boxes to represent various homelessness scenarios and hosted a speakers panel that shared information on affordable housing.
Efforts to sustain a campus culture of helping others starts prior to the first day of classes, with the Oiler Experience. Orientation service projects throughout the region introduce new students to each other, the community, and to people and organizations in need of assistance with basics such as painting and outdoor cleanup. Academic careers are further enhanced with numerous service-learning opportunities engrained in various courses, which provide the community extra hands and ideas, and teach students critical thinking and professional skills. This spirit of service formally culminates with the opportunity for seniors to participate in the Graduate Class Philanthropy Honor Cord Program, which mandates participants pitch in their time, talents, and funding to earn a green cord to wear at commencement; in 2019, 225 seniors completed community service requirements and generated $5,036 for the Findlay Forward Scholarship class gift to earn their Philanthropy Honor Cords.
Leading by Example
UF faculty and staff assisted nonprofit community organizations by serving on more than 75 area boards and committees, providing essential operations and fiscal guidance. These leaders provided their expertise to groups such as Children's Mentoring Connection, Hancock County Adult Protective Services, LGBTQ+ Spectrum of Findlay, Findlay Light Opera Company, Silver Blades Figure Skating Club, 50 North, and Blanchard Valley Center for Developmental Disabilities. Such faculty and staff involvement provides positive role modeling for students and encourages their participation in similar organizations, whether locally or in their home communities.
Stocking the Pantry
The University of Findlay-sponsored mobile food pantry, in partnership with Chopin Hall, uses student volunteers to routinely distribute up to 10,000 pounds of groceries to more than 200 regional families in need. Many within the community rely on these collections to stock and supplement their kitchens with nutritious food, and the experience provides UF students with additional service-oriented volunteerism.
Fundraising & Donation
In support of the U.S. Marine Corps' mission to ensure every child receives a gift during the holiday season, UF hosted a Toys for Tots campaign and Christmas party to collect new toys and cash to purchase toys. In 2018, the University goal of collecting 300 toys was met. The Marine Corps works with the Salvation Army and CHOPIN Hall in Findlay to distribute the toys each year.
Lending a Hand
In November 2018, the 13th annual Helping Hands Food Drive at UF broke big records. A total of 111,436 pounds of nonperishable food was collected for CHOPIN Hall during a 12-hour marathon event, surpassing the goal of 100,000 pounds. Along with generous campus and community donors, the Sodexo-sponsored drive was made possible by Garner Trucking, which donated food and supplied two semi-trucks for transportation; Campbells Soup Company, which made a substantial food donation; and Walmart, which donated and provided drop-off locations. Read more here.
The University, represented by Findlay Green Campus Initiative, Campus Ministry, Campus Housing, Facilities, and the Buford Center for Diversity and Service, organized its first campus-wide recyclables collection effort during move-out week, when students typically toss reusable items they don't want to transport home for the summer. Bins were placed in dormitories to collect used clothing, houseware items in good condition, and nonperishable food. The donations were given to UF students in need and to community organizations such as the Salvation Army and City Mission.
On the Move
The Circle K UF Miracle Network Dance Marathon, a popular campus fundraiser that welcomes community participation, raises thousands of dollars each year for Mercy Health Children's Hospital in Toledo. Numerous events leading up to the day-long community dance helped with that effort. The fall 2018 event raised more than $47,000. In spring 2019, Alysa Martin, Pharm.D., a 2019 graduate earned a Distinguished Leadership Award from the national Miracle Network Dance Marathon organization for her role in UF's fundraising program.
Passing the Baton
This year marked the 11th year for Relay for Life at UF. UF's Colleges Against Cancer chapter has continuously educated, supported, and advocated for those who have been affected by this disease by organizing the annual relay on UF's campus. The 2019 event raised almost $31,000 for the American Cancer Society.
One lucky rescue dog named Findlay, for the University of Findlay, will eventually be trained as a service dog and paired with a post-9/11 military veteran contending with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma. Cpt. Louis Belluomini, who spoke at UF in November 2018 about his military experiences, his service dog Star, and the K9s for Warriors program that trained Star, launched the fundraiser, which raised $15,000. Since then, UF's Student Activities Board has extended the fundraiser to support a second service dog through the Florida nonprofit training facility. Belluomini was also featured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary “A New Leash on Life: The K9s for Warriors Story," which is drawing attention to that organization and was screened at UF last fall.
Events & Activities
Fundays and Fun Ways
For one brief afternoon in February 2019, the Alumni Memorial Union transformed into a Lego wonderland with nearly one dozen reading-centric stations. As part of the Mazza Museum's annual 7-part Funday Sunday series, the Lego-themed day was one of the most well-attended ever (over 1,200 attendees in two hours). Family-friendly activities at Funday Sunday enabled over 3,292 children and their families to incorporate art, construction, and more to promote textual and visual literacy. The Museum also offered more traditional reading fun with Tales for Tots programming and special events, such as the family workshop that taught fun ways to talk about feelings, which featured the book “The Rabbit Listened," by Cori Doerrfeld. The vast majority of Mazza events for children are free.
Safety Training Days
UF's campus, with its grounds and multiple facilities, are an asset for first responders and other groups that regularly rely on sites for training and educational purposes. Throughout 2018-2019, the city, county, and area township firefighters, SWAT teams, and police departments used UF-owned houses for six day-long trainings, such as active shooter scenarios. In addition, the University hosted several safety-related public forums. In recognition of April's Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Tim Mousseau, a sexual assault survivor, spoke on his experience. Additionally, a community seminar about human trafficking in Northwest Ohio was held, and “Lily's Wings," a play about human trafficking, was staged in March.
The public is invited to UF's annual Arbor Day ceremony, which, in recent years, has included an address by Findlay's mayor and tree plantings around campus. In April 2019, UF's Tree Advisory Board and Student Government Association teamed up to also offer free T-shirts and food following a Hackberry tree planting ceremony in the middle of campus on Cory Street Mall near the gazebo; tulip poplar, redbud, and sugar maple saplings were also planted elsewhere on campus. The Arbor Day ceremony has contributed to the University of Findlay being designated as a Tree Campus USA for the past three years.
Keeping Kids Healthy
Fun activities and learning stations for children and their caregivers are offered at Healthy Kids Day, a nationally-recognized endeavor co-sponsored by UF and the Findlay Family YMCA. The 7th annual event, held in April 2019, attracted more than 1,600 participants. Featured in UF's Koehler Fitness and Recreation Complex were nutritious snacks, physical fitness opportunities such as an obstacle course and hula hooping, tours of emergency vehicles, and areas highlighting topics such as bicycle safety, literacy, and a “Hidden in Plain Sight" trailer educating adults about illegal drug use.
Preventing the Unthinkable
In March, a free suicide prevention training workshop was offered by UF Counseling Services and Hancock County Community Partnership. Known as “QPR" (question, persuade, refer), the instruction intends to save lives by teaching people how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis. Counseling Services regularly offers this training to UF and the greater community.
Clearing the Air
During summer 2018, University of Findlay became a tobacco-free campus. Here you can read all the policies regarding it. A $15,500 grant from the American Cancer Society's Tobacco-Free Cancer Initiative was awarded. The initiative is part of CVS's “Be Healthy First" campaign that seeks to reduce tobacco use among college students. Although UF's buildings had been tobacco-free for years, a survey indicated that second-hand smoke outside was a concern. The effort ensures that the campus community and its visitors can breathe easier.
Academic Office Outreach
Being a pharmacist entails far more than issuing prescription medications, as the University's Telehealth Center exemplifies. The profession is also a holistic health source. The Telehealth Center, which opened in 2016, pairs College of Pharmacy students with patients for optimal learning and health outcomes. Using video conferencing, telephone and online interactions, students assist patients, particularly those with travel limitations and who live in rural areas, with prescription-related questions and concerns. For more information on who qualifies to use this service, visit telehealthcenter.findlay.edu.
Nature and Nurture
Nature immersion, environmental sustainability, and learning unite for the public's benefit at the Rieck Center for Habitat Studies, a 54-acre preserve with a large main building located south of Findlay. Several natural habitats with more than two miles of hiking trails and a 2-acre pond provide the opportunity for hands-on experiences and innovative use. The center biannually hosts free public open houses with particular themes. The spring 2016 event focused on reptiles and amphibians, and included guest speaker Justin Rheubert, UF biology instructor. Spring 2018 open house guests learned about butterflies, saw a bald eagle during a hike, and went home with native seeds to grow a butterfly garden.
To help combat the region's growing opioid abuse epidemic, the College of Pharmacy received a $10,000 Best Practices in Pain Medication Use grant in 2018 from the Cardinal Health Foundation to survey and educate Hancock County's licensed prescribers on national opioid prescription guidelines for chronic pain management. The study and educational outreach were conducted by Tim Burkart, Pharm.D., and Paluri Sai Shantanu Rao, Ph.D., along with two undergraduate student research assistants. This project intends to use findings to create a template whereby efforts can be expanded to support opioid prescription prescribers in surrounding counties.
Courses of Action
In 2017, UF began offering a new Substance Use Disorders minor to educate students and the community on all aspects of addictions, which affect everyone in a myriad of personal and professional ways. Offered through UF's Social Work and Gerontology programs, four required courses encompass the biological, psychological, sociological, spiritual, and economic complexities of addiction. The minor is the University's contribution to addiction recovery efforts and is the result of conversations held with the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services.
Front and Center
The University partners with United Way of Hancock County and the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation to operate the Center for Civic Engagement, a community endeavor that supports existing coalitions in their efforts to address the region's most complex social issues. The Center is used for ideas that, for instance, seek to eliminate duplication of services and recognize the interconnectivity of circumstances adversely affecting citizens. Focus areas include housing; literacy; mental health and substance abuse; safety, abuse and security; transportation; food security; health; and workforce development.