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Drake calls for students to participate in a day of service honoring MLK

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students representing Des Moines area colleges will unite with local youth organizations to participate in a day of service at Drake University.

This event will occur on Monday, January 16, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Drake University Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave.

Students will participate in four service projects:

*    Creating tie blankets that will be presented to Blank Children’s Hospital and local non-profit shelters

*    Assembling personal care kits for Lutheran World Relief

*    Constructing newspaper flooring for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa

*    Designing greeting cards for military veterans undergoing treatment at the VA Central Health Care System in Des Moines

This project is co-sponsored by Drake University, the Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation, Simpson College, Des Moines Area Community College, Grand View University and Children and Family Urban Ministries.
Michigan Campus Compact, in partnership with Wisconsin Campus Compact and the Corporation for National and Community Service, awarded Drake University a Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegiate Challenge Mini-Grant for the project.

“The collaborative nature of this day of service empowers Drake students, faculty and staff to create strong partnerships with other area academic institutions and community organizations in order to create solutions to social problems,” said Mandi McReynolds, service-learning coordinator at Drake.

The annual event, now in its fourth year, promotes community service ideals advanced by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the federal holiday honoring his contributions to the United States. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the holiday.

The Corporation for National and Community Service leads the annual MLK Day of Service, working with the King Center in Atlanta and thousands of nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, and schools and businesses nationwide.

LaTasha Stiger, Drake’s director of campus programming, said that the event will give individuals the opportunity to demonstrate to middle and high school aged students that giving back is important.

“Dr. King once said that life’s most persistent and urgent question is “˜What are you doing for others?'” Stiger said. “It is our hope that this service event will be a jump-start for those who are interested in service but are not sure of where to begin. This event is about more than giving, it is about a way of life.”

Students interested in this event may register online. Participants are asked to donate at least one canned food item to benefit the Des Moines Area Food Bank.

For more information, contact LaTasha Stiger at 515-271-4078 or latasha.stiger@drake.edu.