Canned food drive and celebration in The Garage

On May 7, 2024, The Garage at UCCS hosted an end of semester Celebration and Canned Food Drive. Finals week is a very stressful time for many students, so The Garage wanted to provide an opportunity for students to kick back and give back.

While we all know that taking some time to refuel and laugh amongst friends is a good way to destress, research has shown that “engaging in prosocial behavior (i.e. donating, volunteering, or helping others) following a stressor can help downregulate physiological stress.” So, to help make sure our students got the most benefits from this event and to positively impact our community, The Garage hosted a canned food drive.

Colorado Springs has a rising homeless population and The Garage and our students wanted to play a small role in helping serve these individuals. Deciding to support the Colorado Springs Rescue Mission with these donations, The Garage set a goal of collecting 100 cans. The student with the most donations would win a free Salt Athletic cleat bag.

Salt Athletic is a student venture that participated in The Garage via one of its co-founders Rafael De la Vega. Since leaving The Garage and receiving a Torch Grant, the team at Salt has been able to scale the company beyond $1M in annual revenue.

To introduce a bit of fun education into the event, Program Manager Luke Doster gave a short presentation about the life of Candice the Can. This presentation used AI to create graphics demonstrating each of the main points involved in the supply chain for an aluminum can. Just as Doster began presenting, a student approached the door and asked if anyone could help her.

Turns out Keizel Lee, the student mentioned above, was ready to win! Bringing two overflowing boxes of cans, Keizel was able to push us well over our goal of 100 cans. At the end of the event, we counted up the cans and took a celebratory picture. Thanks to all the donations, we were able to collect 128 cans to donate to our local Rescue Mission. Thanks to everyone who participated and huge thank you to Keizel Lee for helping us cross the finish line!

About The Garage

The Garage at UCCS is a student startup incubator located in Osborne A-313 that is available to current UCCS students. The Garage has a rolling application where students can share their business ideas. If accepted into the program, students receive access to the facility, mentorship, and extracurricular learning opportunities. To learn more, visit The Garage.