More than 800 representatives of Butler University are expected to volunteer for the 2015 Bulldogs Into the Streets (BITS), Butler’s annual effort to give back to the city of Indianapolis, on Saturday, August 29, from 10 AM to 1 PM.

This year, the program has been moved to the weekend to accommodate not only student volunteers but faculty, staff, alumni, campus partners, and members of the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. They will fan out to about 25 service sites in the city, donating 2,400 hours of service worth an estimated $55,368.

Bulldogs Into the Streets“For years, we have held BITS on the day before classes started and asked only first-year students to volunteer,” said Caroline Huck-Watson, Director of Butler’s Office of Programs for Leadership and Service Education. “Our sophomores, juniors, seniors, faculty, and staff would tell us that they wanted to participate too, so this year we moved it to a weekend day so that all Bulldogs can be part of a great day of serving with our neighbors and city.”

This year’s service sites are:

BTNA/Midtown: Heritage Place of Indianapolis Inc.; Boulevard Place Food Pantry; MLK Center; Lab School; Tarkington Park; Shortridge High School; Andrew Ramsey Park; Gleaners – Methodist Church; IPS 43-James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School; Indianapolis Public Library – College Avenue Branch; AIM (Aftercare for Indiana).

Indianapolis: Children’s Bureau Inc.; Holliday Park; Ronald McDonald House; Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc.; Wheeler Mission Ministries; The Lord’s Pantry at Anna’s House; The Villages; Gleaners-Fervent Prayer; Indianapolis Zoo; Thrifty Threads; Auntie Mame’s; St. Vincent De Paul distribution center; St. Vincent De Paul food pantry; Salvation Army Eagle Creek.

The Tarkington Park project is part of the Great Places 2020 initiative, which is intended to transform neighborhoods and spur urban revitalization. BITS volunteers will be working with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful on this project.

BITS participants will be tweeting using the hashtag #ButlerServes.

BITS is in its 21st year, but Huck-Watson said volunteerism is a year-round effort at Butler. Participants in BITS are encouraged to continue to be involved in volunteer activities through:

  • The Volunteer Opportunities Fair, featuring representatives from dozens of local non-profit organizations. This year’s fair is September 16.
  • The Butler Volunteer Center’s Listserv. Volunteers can register for a weekly listserv that has information on a variety of projects.
  • Student Government Association Service and Philanthropy Board. Students can take a role in the new SGA Service and Philanthropy Board, and help the University continue to commit to service.
  • Alternative Breaks. Fall and Spring alternative breaks allow students to do volunteer projects in other areas of the country.
  • Indianapolis Community Requirement courses, which combine classroom-learning with service.

Media contact:
Marc Allan