The Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University
 

Service Project Makes a Big Difference

October 15, 2009 by cpehrson

Armenian Student Association volunteers work on the BRASC grounds.

Armenian Student Association volunteers work on the BRASC grounds.

The outside of the Bear River Activity and Skill Center is looking good, thanks to a group of USU students.  The Armenian Student Association at USU volunteered to clean up behind the BRASC building on campus.

Gagik Melikyan was looking for volunteer projects for the Armenian students to do when he was referred to the CPD from another department on campus. The whole mission of the student association is to help people, he said.  Jeff Sheen, Coordinator  of the Volunteer program at the CPD, told him about the situation at BRASC and Melikyan immediately agreed to work on the project.

Sheen worked side by side with the four Armenian students one Saturday afternoon in the hot sun behind the BRASC building pulling weeds, hauling off broken tree branches, and cleaning up the outside environment. It looks great!

Melikyan’s plans don’t stop there.  He would like to see this project turned into an ongoing one that will not only improve the looks of the grounds but will turn it into a therapeutic activity for the 17 adults with disabilities who attend this on campus day program.

Working with campus housing and other campus groups, the Armenian student association has secured donations for materials to build a large raised garden bed that is wheelchair accessible for the participants to plant flowers and vegetables in next spring.  Along with supplying the labor to build the raised bed, the students plan to plant a large tree that Malikyan hopes will be watched over by new Armenian students for years to come.

The Armenian students are anxious to meet and get to know the BRASC participants who will benefit from all of their hard work.  They are planning to host a party at BRASC later this year and share a bit of their culture through dance and food.

In the words of Mother Teresa, “In this life we cannot do great things.  We can only do small things with great love.”  Our hats are off to this small but dedicated group of students who, by this small act of service,  are making a big difference in the lives of others.

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Students give their work a thumbs-up.