More than 300 volunteers came together Jan. 20, for the University of Michigan-Dearborn's 21st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Participants spent several hours Monday morning at nonprofit organizations throughout the Metro Detroit area.
Some sorted canned goods or prepped meals. Some made blankets for local children. Others deep-cleaned everything from athletics facilities to animal shelters, the university reported.
“I’m really excited to participate this year,” said Asia McArdell, a UM-Dearborn English student who volunteered on campus with the Arts & Scraps organization. “It’s nice the university has a big event where we can give back to our community.”
UM-Dearborn partnered with Henry Ford Community College for the event, with students, staff, faculty and alumni from both organizations volunteering together.
“We bring together the heritage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and … the commitment to community, the commitment to our friends and neighbors and organizations. It’s an exciting day,” said UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little to volunteers who attended the day’s kick-off in UM-Dearborn’s University Center. “Thanks for giving of your time and your energy and your heart to help our communities to do better. It’s a great day to celebrate the heritage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
Bilal Amen, director of HYPE Athletic Community, saw multiple benefits of the day's efforts, both for those volunteering and those being served.
“It’s very important for (volunteers) to come in here and help out because they see first-hand what they’re helping out with,” he said. “For them to come and give back, it’s showing these kids that, no matter what, as you move on in life, it’s always good to come and give back. That’s what we try to teach them every day.”
Events on campus commemorating the legacy of Dr. King will continue throughout the week:
Tuesday, January 21
- Noon and 6 p.m. – Movie screening of Betty and Coretta, University Center, Kochoff Hall C
Wednesday, January 22
- 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Roe v. Wade anniversary, University Center Stage
- 6 to 8 p.m. – Poetry tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., CASL Building, Room 1072
Thursday, January 23
- Noon – Discussion of the graphic novel March: Book One, University Center, Room 2122
- 4:30 p.m. – Workshop: Engaging Student Voice in Education: Empowering Students to Realize their Potential, Fairlane Center South, Room 180
Friday, January 24
- 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Elect Her: Campus Women Win, Fairlane Center Sough, Dining Room D (pre-registration required)
- Noon – Workshop: Donate without Breaking Your Bank, University Center InCLUDE, Room 2122
For more information, visit the UM-Dearborn’s MLK webpage.