UW News

December 3, 2009

Area agencies need your help on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 18

UW News

How are you with a hammer? How about a paint brush, a broom or some cleaning products? Whatever your skill level, there’s a local agency that needs your help on the ninth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, which is Monday, Jan. 18, 2010.

Hard-pressed nonprofit organizations throughout the area need tasks large and small done that they can’t easily afford. On the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, members of the UW community will meet for a kickoff at the HUB at 8 a.m. and then fan out to spend the day helping these 60-some groups. The Day of Service will be from about 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Signups for volunteering began on Dec. 1 and will continue through Saturday, Jan. 16. Learn more and sign up to volunteer online here.

Matt Wojciakowski, community engagement coordinator for the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center, who organizes the UW’s participation in the Day of Service, said there are already about 60 project leaders signed up, but a few more are needed. If anyone would like to lead a service project for their students, colleagues or friends, they can e-mail Wojciakowski at mlkjr@uw.edu.

There will be two training sessions for Day of Service project leaders. These will be held in 224 Mary Gates:

  • 1-2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, and
  • 2-3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.

Many familiar organizations are asking for help on the Day of Service. The Seattle Audubon Society needs help assembling activity kits for student visitors; the Humane Society of Snohomish County needs people to help gather pet food at a local grocery store; the Seattle Art Museum needs a clean-up crew at the Olympic Sculpture Park; the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is seeking help building cross-country bike trails; United Way of King County wants volunteers to label flyers telling seniors about free tax preparation sites — the list goes on and on.

Wojciakowski noted a few volunteer projects that are new for this year. 

  • The Freedom Project, which supports “the transformation of prisoners into peacemakers,” offers a daylong workshop in “Nonviolent Communication Training.” The UW project leader for this is Audrey Lucero, at lucero@u.washington.edu.
  • The Gay City Health Project in the Capitol Hill neighborhood can use up to 30 UW volunteers to help decorate, paint, clean and re-organize its office. Wojciakowski said this project is among those that needs a leader.

About 1,300 UW students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends participated in the 2009 Day of Service. Wojciakowski said that was “a terrific turnout, but also a drop in the bucket when one considers that in 2009 48,000 students were enrolled and 42,000 faculty and staff employed at the UW.”

The Day of Service project is sponsored by the Carlson Center, the UW Alumni Association, the UW Book Store, United Way of King County and other agencies.