PLU's commitment to educating students for lives of service lies at the heart of the university's mission. Some students engage service through carefully crafted "service-learning" courses that integrate community projects and service with in-class learning. Other students engage service through volunteering, advocacy and other forms of civic engagement. PLU's Center for Community Engagement and Service (CCES) supports these endeavors by aiding staff, faculty and students who are interested in connecting with the Parkland and Tacoma community and assistance for community leaders who are looking for ways to engage the PLU campus.
This year, the CCES received an AmeriCorps grant to hire Melanie Bolte, who facilitates the Parkland Education Project, a joint mentoring initiative between PLU's CCES, School of Education and Movement Studies and Franklin Pierce School District. During 2012-2013, the CCES has already supported 175 PLU student tutors and mentors serving in local schools. Other annual CCES programs include: service-based On the Road Orientation Trips, the annual Pierce County Hunger Walk, Habitat for Humanity Builds, Alternative Spring Break trips, National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, National Volunteer Week, and the Celebration of Service.On Saturday, December 8, the CCES will coordinate over 150 volunteers to work with Winterfest on PLU's East Campus. Winterfest is an annual holiday event that promotes holiday cheer for 500 low income families who are experiencing economic despair in our own community. Children will get to visit with Santa, get their face painted, make a holiday craft, and choose a book to take home. Families can also get coats and toys to supplement holiday gifts. To learn more about Winterfest or to get involved, click here