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UTD Students Serve Plano
By Corina Sadler

A lonely dog, a child needing help in math, and a littered creek are all things that might be found in Plano. There is considerably less of that since hundreds of energetic and hardworking University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) students get to work each year. 

 

Whether participating on their own or joining an organized service group, each student brings diversity and a positive attitude to projects like working in the Plano Community Garden, supporting Love Where You Live, volunteering tirelessly at the Plano Animal Shelter, cleaning creeks and parks, or tutoring children in math. Service clubs large and small choose VIP first for valuable service opportunities that give college students career experience, practice with interpersonal skills, and the opportunity to connect for impact.

Viva Volunteers help out at the Animal Shelter.


We would like to thank the following groups of students for choosing Plano first. 

 
*Alpha Epsilon Delta 
Honor Society
*Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity
*Geoclub
*Health Occupation Students of America
*Pre-Dental Association
*Rotaract
*Viva Volunteers, Office of Student Volunteerism
*Individual students who sign up on their own
Thank you!
A special thanks to

for graciously donating food for the Animal Shelter and Library recognition events.

Animal Shelter Recognition luncheon
Library Recognition

Thanks to the following companies for your wonderful donations!


PISD Student Wins Youth Environmental Star of Excellence
As the 2013-2014 Executive Chair of the Plano ISD PTSA Executive Board, Aayush Goyal initiated a recycling program at Plano East High School. He organized the Plano Going Green Initiative, allowing online registration for 15 PISD elementary schools. While participating in the ECO Teens program, this young environmental activist's efforts resulted in citywide park cleanups and several sustainable community projects. 
Aayush Goyal wins Youth Environmental Star of Excellence award.

"If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life."
--Unknown 

New Opening!

Volunteer with expertise in Microsoft Access needed for special projects.

Dear VIPs, City Staff, and Group Partners

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." --Vincent Van Gogh.

April 12-18, 2015 is National Volunteer Week, a time to recognize all our wonderful volunteers.

 
Volunteers have always been a cornerstone of the City of Plano. Individual and collaborative efforts of staff and volunteers have made our City successful. Those of us who call Plano home know how fortunate we are to benefit from this hometown philosophy of helping others. The many services offered in Plano could not be delivered without the generosity and dedication of such a large number of wonderful volunteers who so willingly share their time and expertise. This gift of commitment, along with a spirit of service, has helped the City of Plano grow and prosper greatly over the past years. We are so very grateful.
I want to thank each of you for touching the lives of so many through our volunteer services. And thank you also to everyone who emailed and called to congratulate me on my 25 years of service with the VIP Program. It has been a pleasure!

Respectfully,  

Robin Popik                      

VIP Supervisor                            

Small Talk Honored as Library Program of the Year, Participants Give it Big A+
The Small Talk program promotes cultural exchange and communication among small groups of people with English as a second language. The overall goal is to improve English communication for those of different cultures.

 

Started by Library Manager Sandy Gillman in January of 2002, Small Talk was not conceived as a class but as a way for persons of different cultures to improve their speaking skills and better understand American idioms. 

 

SMALL TALK received Exceptional Library Program Award, recognizing 20 volunteers who assisted over
200 participants and donated 547 hours. 

During the 13 years the program has existed, it has been exciting to see the creativity that staff has brought to the program, picking topics and working with volunteer facilitators to help participants gain self-confidence as they become fluent conversationalists.

 

Small Talk was a big hit, expanding quickly to all five libraries and winning numerous awards. Today, you can find the program at four of the Plano libraries with two sessions each year, along with Summer and Winter talk.

 

At the end of each session, the library hosts the "Small Talk Cultural Exchange Party," which brings out participants, family members, volunteers, staff, and lots of wonderful food.

Active TEENS were recognized for Outstanding Service to various library programs. 
Math Tutors 
Genealogy
PCPAAA 2014 Volunteer of the Year 
Robert Herr Dedicated to Serving Plano
By Brittany Feagans
Robert Herr has dedicated his life to service and helping those who keep the City safe - the Plano Police Department.

On Tuesday, Herr received the 2014 Volunteer of the Year award at the Plano Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (PCPAAA) awards banquet. Herr volunteered 535 hours in 2014, which saved Plano PD more than $12,000 worth of work. 

Read the full story, Volunteer of the Year Gives 535 Hours to Plano PD, in the Plano Star Courier.
Herr collects unwanted medication from citizens while volunteering at last year's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. 

Solar Advocates Outshine the Rest to Win Environmental Awards
Volunteers Larry Howe and Robert Litwins were co-winners of the City of Plano's Environmental Star of Excellence Award (Adult Individual category) for initiating the Solarize Plano program in 2013 in collaboration with the City to guide residents through the confusing process of purchasing solar. Their passion for expanding the use and understanding of this natural energy resource resulted in their donating more than 1,000 volunteer hours. 

In addition, Keeping Texas Beautiful named Howe Volunteer of the Year for his commitment to advocating for the use of solar power. See also, Keeping Texas Beautiful: Larry Howe, Volunteer of the Year. 
Mayor Harry LaRosiliere presents the Environmental Star of Excellence Award to Robert Litwins (left) and Larry Howe.
VIP and Animal Shelter Staff Put on the Dog to Recognize Volunteers 

VIP and Animal Shelter staff thanked volunteers at the annual recognition luncheon on March 28.
Shian-Wei Arthur receives an award for his "purrfect" work with cats.
Kathi Cavanagh named Animal Shelter
Volunteer of the Year.