The University’s Community Service Program will host several outreach options as part of the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 21.
ASU has long emphasized service and organized many monthly events giving students opportunities to be involved in their communities, said Allison Oaks, service chair of Changemaker Central.
“Volunteering makes a student really well-rounded,” Oaks said. “I think it shapes them as a person and will ultimately make them better in their careers.”
These opportunities include working at the Tigermountain Community Garden, the Sojourner Center, Teleos and Eco Village Community Garden, according to Volunteer@ASU, the University’s volunteer website.
Anyone in the ASU, Tempe or Phoenix communities can participate in one of four service opportunities, said Emily Reynolds, management intern at Changemaker Central.
The MLK Day of Service officially begins at 9 a.m., when volunteers will arrive and begin working. However, the Teleos site starts at 10 a.m. to accomodate the participants in the Dr. Martin Luther King MLK March and Parade in downtown Phoenix, Reynolds said.
The Tigermountain Community Garden is a place to build a sustainable neighborhood by educating the community and growing their own vegetables, according to the Tigermountain Foundation’s website.
The Sojourner Center functions as a safe place for domestic violence victims by providing emergency supplies, housing and legal assistance, according to its website.
Teleos is both a church and charter school located in downtown Phoenix. The charter school is run by a nonprofit organization, Great Hearts Academies, which provides students a quality education for no cost, according to Great Hearts’s website.
The final location is the Eco Village Community Garden, a new residential community located on the Polytechnic campus for students with a common goal of sustainability, said Saul Tiscareño, Eco Village community assistant.
Eco Village is broken into two sections: the bike community and the Garden District. Residents who work in designated plots maintain the garden. However, ASU and CGCC own several plots to allow students to participate in a hands-on way, Tiscareño said.
The garden provides Eco Village students with fresh produce, including broccoli, carrots, kale, parsley, lettuce and onions, Tiscareño said.
ASU will provide transportation to both the Tigermountain Community Garden and Sojourner Center locations.
Buses to the Tigermountain Community Garden will leave from the Tempe, Downtown and West campuses, Reynolds said.
Students volunteering at the Sojourner Center will be required to take the provided transportation from the Tempe campus.
Reynolds said students will receive further instructions about transportation when they register for the event.
Supply chain management junior Cherish Clark said she will be participating in the day of service event for the impact it makes on others and the personal pleasure she gets.
“I volunteer to make an impact on the world and help people, but it really makes me feel good when I do it,” she said.
The MLK Day of Service comes as one of the monthly days of service put on by Volunteer@ASU.
Reynolds said the MLK Day of Service is the second largest day of service event after the annual Devils in Disguise in March.
The MLK Day of Service event is part of a national movement based on President Barack Obama’s recent service initiative, according to United We Serve, an online resource for people who want to serve in their communities.
While ASU has promoted volunteerism for many years, Obama’s initiative reaffirms the importance of students giving service.
Holly Vins, vice director of Changemaker Central and chair of the Community Service Coalition, which organizes student events for community service, said volunteering through events like the MLK Day of Service have made her a better person.
“Volunteering has made me a better informed and concerned citizen who cares about both the good and bad happening in my community,” Vins said.
For more information about the upcoming days of service, or other volunteer opportunities, students can visit volunteer.asu.edu or visit Changemaker Central offices located on the Tempe, Downtown or Polytechnic campuses.
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