Cloyne Court Helps Out at YMCA’S LGBTQ Family Night

Twelve student members of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, 11 of whom were Cloyne Court residents, welcomed families, taught arts and crafts skills, and generally helped take the weight off of YMCA staff for the Downtown Berkeley YMCA’s 14th annual LGBTQ Family Night on March 10, 2012.

“The YMCA’s LGBTQ Family Night is about embracing all children and families and making sure that the members of the gay and lesbian community feel comfortable and safe,” says YMCA Senior Program Director Eden O'Brien-Brenner. “We were very impressed with the volunteers from the Berkeley Student Cooperative,” says YMCA Volunteer Specialist Brett Berning. “They were role models for our younger guests.”  Fellow YMCA Youth Specialist Trudi Peterson, an alum of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, recruited the volunteers.

Cloyne Court serves as the flagship of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, a student-run nonprofit that provides affordable housing to 1250 members in 20 properties surrounding UC Berkeley. Cloyne, a house of 151 members, commits a total of 375 hours of community service hours each semester in addition to the 5 hours of workshift per week required of each resident.

The Berkeley Student Cooperative volunteers were organized by the Cloyne Court Community Service Coordinator, Leela McDowell, a junior at UC Berkeley majoring in Atmosphere Sciences. “I really appreciate living in Cloyne Court. It’s more than just a cheap and convenient place for a student to live. Because we pool our resources, we are able to make a difference in the community through these volunteer efforts.”