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2012.01.10 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO Honors MLK Day With Jan. 16 Day of Service

Omaha - On Monday, Jan. 16, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will once again celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday with a day of community service. Students and volunteers from around the Omaha-Metro will gather at Omaha North High School, 4410 N 36th St., to remember the life and causes of the prominent civil rights leader by participating in community service projects.

Organized by UNO Student-Community Leadership and Service (SCLS), formerly American Humanics, participants will make fleece blankets for Project Harmony, create educational materials for Conservation Fusion to assist children in Madagascar, fill pantry boxes for Food Bank for the Heartland and help build homes in Council Bluffs alongside Habitat for Humanity. This year’s event will also feature a short educational program and reflection on the importance of King’s legacy.

“We see it as a day on,” SCLS Director Kathe Oleson Lyons said. “Not a day off.”

Registration begins at 9 a.m. inside North High with the day’s events wrapping up around 1:30 p.m. People are also encouraged to pre-register on the SCLS website.

UNO Students who live on campus and are looking to volunteer will be shuttled to Omaha North from the Milo Bail Student Center throughout the morning.

Project Harmony is a non-profit child advocacy center in Omaha whose mission is to protect and support children, collaborate with professionals and engage the community to end child abuse and neglect. Visit www.projectharmony.com to learn more.

Conservation Fusion is an Omaha-based non-profit organization that engages communities in education on local and global conservation challenges, and worldwide sustainability.

Foodbank for the Heartland, founded in 1981, is an organization whose mission is to eliminate hunger in Nebraska and western Iowa through community collaboration.

Habitat for Humanity Council Bluffs is part of Habitat for Humanity, an international organization dedicated to building homes for people in need, regardless of race or religion.

In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the King Holiday as a national day of volunteer service. Instead of a day off from work or school, Congress asked Americans of all backgrounds and ages to celebrate King’s legacy by turning community concerns into citizen action. The King Day of Service brings together people who might not ordinarily meet, breaks down barriers that have divided individuals in the past, leads to better understanding and ongoing relationships. Visit www.mlkday.gov for more information.

The UNO SCLS will host other volunteer events this spring, including:

• Feb. 23 – Volunteer Fair, where nonprofit organizations staff booths at UNO to educate students, faculty and staff about volunteer opportunities.

• March 17, 19-24 – Seven Days of Service, where more than 1,400 students, faculty, staff and community members volunteer each spring for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. This year marks the event’s 10th anniversary.

• April 20 – Global Youth Service Day, where students, faculty, staff and community members improve public parks and, this year, will participate in the Hike for Refugees initiative, walking from UNO to Stinson Park at Aksarben Village.

For more information on these and other volunteer events, call UNO SCLS at (402) 554.4083 or visit http://www.unomaha.edu/humanics/.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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