MLK Day Spent in Service
At the University of Saint Francis, Martin Luther King Day is a "day on, not a day off." On Jan. 16, USF students, alumni, faculty and staff joined in celebrating the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by volunteering and participating in a host of community service endeavors.
For volunteers, the day began with a continental breakfast at 10:30 a.m., followed by a call to service at 11 a.m. in Gunderson Auditorium. Over 120 students and alumni, and more than 66 faculty and staff served with 11 different agencies in the Fort Wayne area and completed four community service projects on campus.
At Charis House (the women’s division of Fort Wayne Rescue Mission), students from Nursing, Physical Therapy and Education volunteered with cosmetologists and hairstylists to style residents’ hair and give them manicures, paraffin wax treatments, massages and gift baskets, as well as play games with the children. USF’s photo club provided family portraits for families residing at Vincent Village, while others cleaned, painted and organized donations. At the Boys and Girls Club, volunteers participated in activities and games with the nearly 250 children who were there.
Volunteers also provided assistance at Love Community Center, Children’s Hope Hospitality House, the pediatric wing of Lutheran Hospital, the Associated Churches Food Bank, Mustard Seed Furniture Bank, the Center for Non-Violence, Ave Maria House and St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store.
There were also community service projects on campus (as well as on-campus donation boxes for fleece for Project Linus, supplies for the military and donations for the ASPCA). Those participating in the Linus Project at North Campus gymnasium made over 50 blankets for children who have been traumatized or are seriously ill, and sewed mittens, hats and scarves for children in need. Also in the North Campus gym were volunteers making beds and pillows for animals at local pet shelters and collecting pet food and other items for the ASPCA. Volunteers stationed in the third-floor conference room at Clare Hall wrote letters and put together care packages for military service personnel.
In all, USF volunteers served with 15 community service agencies/projects on Martin Luther King Day. But, the celebration of Dr. King’s lifelong dedication to equality and love for humanity didn't end there. More events took place after Jan. 16 such as movie "Burma Soldier," sponsored by Just Peace; Interdisciplinary Roundtable, "King and Labor: The Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike,"; Poetry and art in "A Celebration of African American Artists,"; and a Red Cross blood drive.