Wittenberg to relaunch, host MLK Day of Service

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Wittenberg University will honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by relaunching its service day.

The Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic & Urban Engagement received funding through ServeOhio, the governor-appointed commission on service and volunteerism, to support this year’s service project.

The Day of Service will be held at 2 p.m. today in the Geil Lounge of the Benham-Pence Student Center, with 50 volunteers gathering to help community partners in addressing community needs.

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The center was only one of 21 nonprofits in the state to receive grants through ServeOhio, which helped relaunch the university’s MLK Day of Service this year.

“This year’s event follows the theme of ‘Imagining Change,’ focusing on how the small practices we can participate in can make big changes in our community,” said Rachel Scherzer, assistant director of the Hagen Center, who was also instrumental in getting the funding.

Scherzer said local partners, such as Promise Neighborhood, will share their work in the Springfield community, and participants will be able to reflect on small steps that create a bigger change.

“Everyone will then have the chance to participate in several small-scale service projects during the event while launching a semester-long project to ‘Fill-a-Bucket’ with supplies for organizations around town. The project will culminate in our upcoming Passport to Springfield event,” she said.

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ServeOhio’s grants, awarded with the support from the American Electric Power Foundation, are to help nonprofits across the state improve their communities through service and volunteer activities, along with funding service projects in 16 Ohio cities led by more than 1,000 volunteers.

Each project brings volunteers together to create or improve community assets or infrastructure and supports local community engagement and impact, as well as includes an education component based on King’s message of peace, unity and service.

Along with the service projects funded by ServeOhio, people across the state also volunteer in their communities on Jan. 16 in remembrance of King. Those interested in volunteering and serving in their community for MLK Day or anything throughout the year can visit ServeOhio’s statewide volunteer engagement platform at serve.ohio.gov/volunteering/getting-connected/01-get-connected.

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