SoCal Huskies give back

Driving the public good


Alumni groups organized service projects for the 2016 MLK Jr. Day of Service.

(UW Alumni Association, February 2016)

his January, alumni groups in Southern California coordinated volunteer service projects in their communities as part of the UW’s celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service.

Los Angeles Huskies spent time building community with residents of Valley Village, an organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights and interests of people with developmental disabilities.

Jessica Handy, ’93, and Debbie Brand, ’88, planned the Los Angeles volunteer project with Jenny Daniels Freese, ’98, who serves as the Director of Development and Marketing at Valley Village. Thirteen Huskies participated, assisting residents with the day’s craft project of making hand puppets and putting on a puppet show. They also boogied-down at the weekly dance party with the residents, dancing for hours to mix of classics from Michael Jackson to Queen to Beyoncé.

Palm Desert Huskies organized a blood donation drive for Lifestream, the sole provider of blood to hospitals in the Coachella Valley. Deb Crump, ’82, served as the point person for this activity.

This service project was coordinated by Sam Kim, ’04. “I suggested we volunteer with Bridge of Hope because the work they do focuses on specific neighborhoods in San Diego,” Kim says. “Plus, it’s a small organization that relies heavily on volunteer support to stay operational.”San Diego Huskies helped with maintenance and facility clean-up at Bridge of Hope, a community center that supports families leaving homelessness and domestic violence shelters, families facing crisis and refugees relocating from around the world. A small but effective group of five San Diego alumni helped unload and sort a large shipment of home goods donations and organized Bridge of Hope’s kitchen.

Several Husky alumni communities hope to engage in future volunteering. Palm Desert Huskies are eager to make donating blood to Lifestream a concern year-round, and the Los Angeles group wants to make service at Valley Village a recurring event. “We all agreed it was a great day,” Handy says. “We had such a wonderful time with the residents and are talking about making this an annual event.”


Learn more about UW’s commitment to and involvement in MLK Jr. National Day of Service.


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