OU celebrates MLK Jr. Day

The Office for Student Involvement’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service was canceled due to inclement weather this past weekend. The event, originally scheduled for January 19, has been rescheduled for March 9.

The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) proceeded to hold their day of service on Monday, January 21. The day of service is inspired by the Corporation for National Community and Service’s call to make MLK a “Day ON, not a day OFF.”

Various organizations in the Auburn Hills/Rochester community took Jan. 21 as a chance to make a difference in their community.

OUWB offered five service opportunities for OU students, faculty and alumni.

“We had volunteers at the Baldwin Center in Pontiac, Grace Centers of Hope, The Older Persons Commission and Hope Warming Center,” Jean Szura, director of Service Learning at OUWB, said.

The Baldwin Center works to feed, clothe and educate members of the Pontiac community. Grace Centers of Hope and Hope Warming Center are both homeless shelters. The Older Persons Commission prepares and delivers meals.

Students and faculty worked to prepare and serve breakfast at shelters, deliver meals with Meals on Wheels and facilitated bingo games.

In addition to these locations, students and faculty were able to work at OUWB and make no-sew fleece blankets for World Medical Relief in Southfield, Mich. as part of their blanket distribution program.

Leading up to MLK Jr. Day, OUWB’s Diversity and Inclusion program hosted their fourth annual Reach Out and Read book collection and read aloud event.

“This event lets us bring in books that really highlight diversity and inclusion,” Dr. Caryn Reed, director of Diversity and Inclusion, said. “It’s an easy way to introduce the concept that we can all bring different characteristics and strengths to the table.”

Student volunteers are able to read to children in the Beaumont Children’s Hospital.

“Our students act as ‘special guest’ readers at the hospital and the children always look forward to hearing the stories,” Reed said. “The donated books have helped Beaumont grow a significantly sized library.”

After a snowstorm hit campus, OSI chose to postpone their Day of Service. The day was going to consist of volunteer opportunities that will now take place on March 9.

A new sign up sheet will be posted on GrizzOrgs for students and faculty to choose what volunteer work they would like to take part in.

“There’s a lot of different places to volunteer including First and Main of Auburn Hills and CARE House of Oakland County,” Daryl Blackburn, a graduate assistant for Leadership and Service Learning, said.

For more information about OSI’s Day of Service, contact Daryl Blackburn at [email protected] or visit the OSI GrizzOrg page.