|  

Categories:  Students

MLK Day of Service

(left to right) Andrew Lobban, David De La O and Elmer Hernandez

Andrew Lobban (from left), David De La O and Elmer Hernandez volunteer at the Pass It On Thrift Center during the 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Photo: Francisca Corona

UIC students can kick off spring semester by assisting worthy organizations while honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Day of Service,” which is led by UIC’s Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services office, pairs students with Chicago area community organizations to help those in need. Volunteers will work for a few hours Monday — a holiday when classes do not meet because of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

“We have the opportunity to give back in a way to carry out the legacy of Dr. King,” said Spencer Long, associate director of Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services. “We don’t have school, so what a great way to give back and be part of the Chicago community.”

Students can pick which community organization they want to lend a hand to by registering online.

The organizations range from an animal anti-cruelty shelter in the Loop to a women’s shelter in Northwest Indiana.

The event aims to show students they can always make a difference in their communities.

“Even little things count,” said Andrew Browne, one of the event leads. “It can be as simple as sweeping up the floor of a daycare center. That makes some impact on some level.”

The Day of Service is part of a weeklong celebration of Dr. King. On Tuesday, Melissa Harris-Perry is scheduled as the keynote speaker for a “Peace Breakfast” at the UIC Forum. Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University and executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute, an organization that seeks meaningful social justice outcomes.

Long hopes that the week encourages students to engage with the issues that surround them.

“We’re trying to create lifetime leaders and active citizens in their communities,” he said. “It’s a lot more than just a paycheck. You have to know what’s going on in your community.”