SOS on Saturday

Thousands of USF students are expected to participate in USF’s Stampede of Service, an annual community service project.


From USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 17, 2013) – About 3,000 University of South Florida students are expected to fan out across Hillsborough County Saturday as part of Stampede of Service, USF’s largest annual community service project. 


From painting the walls of a preschool to spreading mulch at a local park, students will give back to the community by volunteering time, skills, and compassion at sites throughout the area. Coordinated through the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, part of the Division of Student Affairs, SOS is designed to engage students with current social issues and introduce them to the importance of community service.


This year students are adopting the motto “make a difference today, make a difference every day,” in hopes of taking the experience of giving back to the community during the SOS event and inspiring volunteer work on a regular basis. 


SOS student volunteers will check-in for their team assignment during a kickoff event from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the USF Track & Field Stadium, before heading off to their service experience destinations. Teams will be assigned to do environmental cleanup, painting, canned food sorting, visiting the sick or elderly, and many other activities as students spend about three hours on location volunteering.  Overall, SOS serves more than 30 different organizations in the Tampa Bay community.  The event concludes with students returning to campus for lunch and a variety of activities, including music and outdoor games.


“There is so much power in 3,000-plus students giving back on one day, and we hope that students realize they can continue to make that same difference every day,” said Mallory Trochesset, associate director of USF’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.


First held in 2006, Stampede of Service is part of USF’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Week, providing large groups of volunteers the opportunity to honor Dr. King by participating in community service.  Having grown into one of the most well-attended university traditions, SOS is a meaningful USF connection to the local community.  SOS was founded seven years ago by a student who wanted to celebrate the MLK holiday. What started with 900 students participating in the inaugural event, grew to a record of more than 3,000 students in 2012.


“This experience places volunteerism at the forefront, enabling us to impact individuals and our community personally,” said Stampede of Service student volunteer Stephanie Senatus.


For more information on Stampede of Service, visit the website: