More than 125 UMass Boston students picked up paint brushes, created activity books for children, and organized senior citizen apartments last week for the annual MLK Day of Service. This is the second year UMass Boston’s Project Serve program, part of the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement, has been actively involved in this national call for service.
“The theme of our MLK Day of Service was ‘Know Your Roots,’ because we felt it was important to acknowledge the elderly and youth as foundations of our society,” said Kenneth Andejeski, the community outreach coordinator in UMass Boston’s Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement. “The lasting message we tried to leave with volunteers was ‘What are you doing for others?’ because that was what Martin Luther King, Jr. believed was ‘life’s most persistent and urgent question.’”
Volunteers spent time at several different organizations, including the Boston Rescue Mission; Jumpstart, an organization that partners university students with youth; and Generations Incorporated, a Boston-based nonprofit that connects older adults and youth. The UMass Boston students created book folders for the seniors to use when they interact with their younger counterparts. At Boston Senior Home Care in Dorchester, volunteers created a mural with residents. Volunteers also painted the entryway of NuPath’s Westford Day Habilitation and Career Development Center and created activity books for the waiting room at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Stephanie Argetsinger, a senior biology and psychology major from Needham who was one of the student coordinators of the event, said it was important for her to participate.
“As a member of the community, it is my responsibility to do all that I can to help make it a better place, even if it is just a small positive change,” Argetsinger said.
Harbor Point on the Bay, the Walter Denney Youth Center, and the Division of Athletics and Recreation, Special Projects, and Intramurals sponsored the event. For information about Project Serve, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.