Hundreds of IUPUI volunteers participated in King Day of Service

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More than 500 students, faculty, and staff at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis honored the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service by volunteering at 21 community agencies.

The 13th annual IUPUI Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service took place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20. The event was sponsored by the IUPUI Center for Service and Learning and IUPUI Office of Student Involvement. The 562 IUPUI volunteers performed various tasks for agencies that focus on community development, education and youth, animal rights, domestic violence, health services, and hunger and homelessness.

The theme of this year’s Day of Service was "The revolution needs you," inspired by King’s statement that "a social movement that only moves people is only a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution."

"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service has traditionally been one of IUPUI's largest days of service," said Joe Spaulding, a student volunteer. "It's refreshing to see so many good things happening all across the city. What's more rewarding is knowing that we aren't making just an impact on the community around us, but that the students are learning more about their community and how they can help."

Among the agencies the IUPUI volunteers assisted are:

  • Faith Hope and Love, where 80 volunteers will help with administrative tasks and stock two of the pantries supported by the organization.
  • Global Peace Initiative, where 75 volunteers with tend the Peace Garden, helping feed people in Indianapolis.
  • Paw’s Pantry, where 49 volunteers will organize and stock the food pantry that was begun by students for other students and staff.
  • Cats Haven, where eight volunteers will clean the facility, which provides a safe home and rehabilitation for rescued cats.
  • Athenaeum, where 20 volunteers will work to make the area more attractive to help boost economic growth and cultural awareness.

"Knowing that we are continuously engaging more and more civic-minded students is an exciting thing to watch," said Courtney Williamson, another IUPUI student volunteer. "Being able to stand back after the day is done and relish in the impact that has been made is why I continue to serve. There is no other feeling in the world than knowing that I have bettered myself as well as the people around me with a simple act of kindness."