Founded in 1990 as an initiative for KU students to directly access and serve the Lawrence community, the Center for Community Outreach works with various student groups, organizations, and local non-profits to address the needs of our community. The CCO and its 13 unique volunteer programs provide meaningful service opportunities for students, address various needs through collaborative partnerships, and empower the community through education and advocacy. We strive to enhance and expand meaningful student involvement in community service and create a culture of ethical service at the University of Kansas.
We directly engage students by providing service opportunities, responding to community needs, organizing semi-annual days of service, developing volunteer management skills, and supporting community initiatives and non-profits through collaborative partnerships. Each program added to the CCO has grown in response to students' passion for the arts, sustainability, homelessness, food insecurity, mentoring, animals, advocacy, and education. The KU Center for Community Outreach, otherwise known as KU CCO, encourages ethical volunteerism in our local and global communities.
Food insecurity, homelessness, youth mentorship, language literacy, and community health are only a few examples of the 13 unique interest areas our student-run programs respond to on a local and global scale. This fall, the CCO welcomed a new program to our ranks that is focused on mental health and well-being: Hawks Mind. Our programs coordinate daily, weekly, monthly, and semi-annual service opportunities through either campus or community agencies' independent or collaborative action. We empower students to become engaged citizens and bridge the gap between our campus and the larger Lawrence community.