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Volunteer

United We Serve

Unified We Serve - The Volunteer Program at California State University, Northridge
Unified We Serve, the volunteer program at California State University, Northridge, is an opportunity offered by the Matador Involvement Center for students to participate in furthering their education through serving the community. Unified We Serve is a great avenue to begin the process of exploring your community and volunteer opportunities. Through volunteerism, you can expand and explore your interests and goals, learn and develop skills, and meet new people socially and professionally. As a volunteer you will gain the fulfillment of knowing that your time and energy will affect someone’s life.

Our Mission Statement: To unify students, faculty, staff, and community members together to provide the greatest amount of resources to better serve our community.

Our Objective: To advance and increase the number of CSUN volunteers committed to serving our community.

Our Values: Unified We Serve values inclusion in which all participants can take an active approach to creating solution-based practices. We value human-capital as our greatest asset in development of community projects to benefit our society. We value the interconnectedness of service, as the methodology for student development in which through the active practice of service, one gains as much as they give.

Our Belief: Unified We Serve believes that it is through connection and collaboration that we generate positive and productive change in our communities. Rather than serving in isolation of one another, by working together in service we can create sustainable results.

Every academic year Unified We Serve hosts two event categories:

Annual Events consist of events that take place at the same date and time every year. These events include:

  1. Matador's Day of Service
  2. Campus Drive
  3. Veteran's Letter Writing Campaign
  4. Adopt-A-Family for Thanksgiving
  5. Cesar Chavez Service Fair

Theme Events consist of events that take place around the focus theme for the semester or year. These are events that include:

  1. Unified We Serve direct service events
  2. Unified We Serve simulations
  3. Club & Organization hosted events
  4. Faculty & Staff hosted events

Get Involved with Unified We Serve

Unified We Serve provides students with multiple resources to engage in volunteerism. We host projects on and off campus and work with non-profit organization, to work as a collective group to give back.

Membership: All CSUN students, staff, and faculty are welcome to become a member of Unified We Serve. Become a member through Matasync by following 4 easy steps.

Step 1: Login on Matasync using CSUN ID

Step 2: Search for Unified We Serve

Step 3: Select Unified We Serve

Step 4: Click "JOIN"

Volunteer Opportunities: Events have consisted of clothing and food drives, providing holiday food baskets for families in need, themed projects, and fundraising walks. Visit our Events and Meetings page for upcoming events.

Recognition: Unified We Serve’s new volunteer recognition program, Matador Volunteer Service Award, honors individuals and clubs and organizations for serving their communities at large. By completing 25 hours of service, you will be recognized at our honorary ceremony!

Unified We Serve Press, Accomplishments, & Awards

Press

Matadors Pitch In to Beautify Campus and Community
By Tara Artrian
Sept. 10, 2019

What Would Cesar Do? 10th Annual Service Fair Promotes Community Service
By Liezl Bitas
March 26, 2019

Matadors Celebrate Cesar Chavez with Service Fair
By Brandon Ilano 
March 29, 2018

Matadors Beautify CSUN at Third Annual Matadors Day of Service
By Natalie L. Camacho
Sept. 21, 2017

Celebrating Cesar Chavez’s Life Through Service
By Emily Olson
Apr. 4, 2016

CSUN's Unified We Serve Collects Food and Clothing for Local Families in Need
By Paul Amico
Nov. 23, 2015

CSUN Announces Second Annual Giving Tuesday Event
Nov. 20, 2015

CSUN Freshmen Make Difference in the Community
By Paul Amico
Sept. 3, 2015

Unified We Serve Collect Food and Clothes for Families in Need
By Andres Aguila
Nov. 20, 2011

Attendees of Free Steak Dinner Met with Surprise
By Braulio Campos
Nov. 3, 2011

Students Experience Poverty During Simulation with Unified We Serve
By Christopher Ho
Oct. 7, 2011

CSUN Commemorates César Chávez with Service Fair
By Juana Esquivel
March 30, 2011

Unified We Serve Partners with Campus Community to Collect Items for Donations
By Antoine Abou-Diwan
Nov. 17, 2010

Program Seeks to Combat Illiteracy with Book Drive
By Kristin Hirai
April 13, 2010

Concert at CSUN to Benefit Haiti
By Krista Daly
Feb. 2, 2010

Accomplishments & Awards

  • Recipient of the 2010 Association of College Unions International Service Award for Outstanding Service Project of the Year
  • Adopted an increasing number families for Thanksgiving between 2009 and 2011 (40 families in 2009; 70 families in 2010; 85 families in 2011)
  • Donation drive of clothing, food, toys and books that has exceeded a thousand items since 2009 (5,000 items in 2009; 15,000 items in 2010; 16,000 items in 2011)
  • Raised $4,500 for Haiti relief
  • Raised $25,000 for Autism research

Annual Themes

Each year, Unified We Serve centralizes volunteerism within the context of a theme of service. The theme provides members with an opportunity to spend one year learning about a prevailing issue facing the community.

Unified We Serve has partnered with University 100 to develop each year's theme based on the book chosen for the Freshman Common Reading Program. This is done in an attempt to bridge Student Affairs with Academic Affairs so that students can learn about an issue from reading the chosen book and apply their learning through a related community service project and enhance the educational process.

 

2019-2020 ThemeThe Far Away Brothers Cover

The Real Story of Immigration

The Real Story of Immigration is inspired by The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham, a novel about twin brothers from El Salvador traveling toward their brother in California, while struggling to survive the difficult path, pay off debt, and become accustomed to a new environment.  

The Real Story of Immigration focuses on sharing facts and true stories that will help delete the stigmas surrounding immigration. By walking through and engaging with the gallery, students learn the real stories behind immigration. We can all come together and delete the stigmas placed on these individuals and make our society a more welcoming place.  

 

2018-2019 ThemeBecoming Nicole Cover

Becoming an Ally

Inspired by the novel Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt and in partnership with the Pride Center, Becoming an Ally focused on learning to be an ally to the transgender community.

 

 

 

 

2017-2018 ThemeBetween the World and Me Cover

Between the World and I

Inspired by the novel, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and I focuses on identifying and exploring identity through various cultural experiences.

Project: Art display, performers, activities and exploring cultures through bread.

 

 

2014-2015 Theme

The Postmortal

The Postmortal

Inspired by a novel, The Postmortal by Drew Magary, What If It Started With You focuses on issues on moral and ethical questions about overpopulation, mortality, the environment, families, birth, marriage, death, interpersonal relationships, income inequality, and the role of government in the lives of the governed.

  • Theme: What if it started with you....
  • Projects: Random Acts of Kindness Week

Mentoring/College Day for high school students: day to share stories about being college student, primarily a first generation college student and how to navigate through college

 

2013-2014 Theme:

Garbology

Garbology

Inspired by Garbology by Edward Humes, Let’s Talk TRASH focuses on issues relating to sustainability and the environment. Service projects will include:

  • Building community gardens in low-income neighborhoods so that residents can access free fruits and vegetables.
  • Heal the Bay (Beach Clean Up)
  • Recycling program
  • Clothing and Food Drive
  • Orange pick at CSUN
  • Service booth at Earth Fair
  • Tending CSUN’s community garden

 

2012-2013 Theme:

Book Cover for One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni

One Amazing Community

Inspired by One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni, One Amazing Community focuses attention on how members of CSUN and the community at large have turned obstacles into opportunities and the resilience it takes to overcome challenges. Service Projects represent the featured speakers in One Amazing Community that include:

  • One Amazing Community Oviatt Library Gallery Display and Presentation
  • San Fernando Valley Homeless Mission
  • Visits to hospice care centers
  • Student led workshops in the community
  • Adopting families for Thanksgiving
  • Clothing and Food Drive
  • Low-Income Family Assessments
  • Four-Week Mentorship Project (in local High Schools and Middle Schools)

 

2011-2012 Theme:

Book Cover for The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The EmpoWErment Movement

Inspired by The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, The EmpoWErment Movement focuses attention on the prevailing issue of homelessness, poverty, trauma and the resilience it takes to overcome challenges. Service projects include:

  • The Poverty Simulation
  • The Hunger Banquet
  • Student lead workshops in the community
  • Adopting Families for Thanksgiving
  • Clothing and Food Drive
  • Low-Income Family Assessments

 

2010-2011 Theme:

Book Cover for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

UNIFIED4AUTISM

Inspired by The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, UNIFIED4AUTISM

focuses attention on the prevailing issue of Autism and health. Service projects include:

  • Autism Speaks Walk
  • Reading to Kids about Autism
  • Puzzle Piece Collage
  • Autism Carnival
  • Autism Research Fundraisers
  • Light It Up Blue Awareness Campaign
  • Autism Simulation
  • Temple Grandin –Awareness Movie Night

 

2009-2010 Theme:

Book Cover for The Soloist by Steve Lopez

Project: Reduce Poverty & Project: E.L.I.T.E. (Every Life Improved Through Education)

Inspired from the book The Soloist by: Steve Lopez, Project: Reduce Poverty (Fall 2009) & Project: E.L.I.T.E. (Every Life Improved Through Education) (Spring 2010) focuses attention on the prevailing issue of Poverty/Homelessness and Education. Service Projects include:

  • Adopting Families for Thanksgiving
  • Clothing & Food Drive
  • Low-Income Family Assessments
  • Survive The Night Homeless Simulation
  • Leadership Development Workshops
  • School Beautification Project
  • Reading To Kids
  • Youth Mentorship Project

Contact Us

Maria Elizondo
Coordinator
Volunteer Programs/Unified We Serve
maria.elizondo@csun.edu

Samantha Jimenez
Programs Assistant
unifiedweserve@csun.edu
818.677.5111

Esmeralda Sanchez
Events Assistant
unifiedweserve@csun.edu
818.677.5111

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