Bruins Help Clean Up Emerson Middle School

More than 7,000 UCLA volunteers work at sites throughout Los Angeles as part of a service event.

Bruins sorted, cleaned and organized some rooms in need Tuesday at Emerson Middle School as part of UCLA Volunteer Day 2012.

The volunteers accounted for just a portion of the 7,000 who traveled by bus to more than 50 sites in the Los Angeles region for UCLA's fourth annual service event. 

Members of the UCLA community also volunteered at locations in Culver City, Hollywood and Santa Monica, in addition to others across the region.

Volunteers jotted down notes Tuesday at Emerson about storage areas and classrooms that needed organizing.

Kathy Garner, Emerson's categorical program coordinator, took Bruins around the school, pointing to old books taking up space, as well as supplies that needed organizing.

"It's really going to be efficient in the long run," she said of the volunteers' work.

The service event began in 2009 with the creation of the UCLA Volunteer Center.

"At the end of the day, we want (students) to be able to go out and do this on their own during their career as a Bruin [and] after they graduate as well," said Rachel Corell, director of the Volunteer Center.

David Cho, 23, graduated from UCLA in 2011 and is currently studying public policy as a masters student at the school. He volunteered this year as a team captain.

"I really wanted to help out and be part of the community," he said.

Project leader Jennifer Jung-Kim said she hopes students at Emerson will be inspired by UCLA students' work at the middle school.

"Maybe it will give them a little bit of an idea [to say], 'Hey, I can do that too, that can be me,'" she said.

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