From the Nominator
Soon after the pandemic began, Concordia President Graham Carr asked for a swift mobilization of local alumni to support vulnerable community members. From this request, the CU Cares volunteer initiative was created in April 2020. According to Santé Montréal, more than one third of people over the age of 65 in Montreal lived alone in 2016. A collaboration between Advancement and the Concordia LIVE Centre, CU Cares connects students, faculty, staff, and alumni with volunteer opportunities at community organizations. The hybrid approach involves the coordination of in-person volunteer opportunities, and a virtual outreach component through isolation calls to senior alumni.
To date, 574 volunteers registered and have been mobilized, volunteering with 18 community partners. The success and popularity of this program has allowed for further collaborations with university colleagues, adapting the brand for their own volunteer outreach initiatives. CU Cares was a call to action; alumni answered.
From the Judges
This program offered a great way to encourage volunteer engagement with direct societal impact. The goodwill created between individuals and for the university was clearly beneficial.