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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 6, 2009

Volunteers sought for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Jan. 19

The University of Iowa Civic Engagement Program is encouraging the Iowa City community to make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a "day on, not a day off" by participating in the MLK Day of Service from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19. Local volunteers will join thousands of others across the country to "keep the dream alive" and honor the life and work of King through service activities.

Staff with the UI Civic Engagement Program will arrange a number of service sites in the Iowa City area where volunteers can help out between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers should report to the North Room of the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) on the UI campus no later than 9 a.m. to be assigned to a site. Free parking will be available in the North Campus Ramp and the IMU Ramp. The UI Office of Student Life will provide van transportation to and from the service sites.

No training is required, but Day of Service participants are encouraged to pre-register with the Civic Engagement Program in advance at 319-335-7589. Groups and families are welcome. A parent or responsible adult must accompany volunteers under the age of 16.

Mary Mathew Wilson, coordinator of the UI Civic Engagement Program, said volunteers can also spend the day helping others on their own or with another group.

"Having a 'day on' could be something as simple as assisting a neighbor with a project that requires an extra set of hands, shoveling snow for someone who is not able or visiting home-bound elders or a local care facility," Mathew Wilson said.

For ideas, see the official MLK Day "How to Serve" Web site, or consult these Web sites: CorridorVolunteers at; Volunteer Iowa at; and Volunteer Match at

After volunteering, Day of Service participants can attend the UI Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights 2008 Community Convocation at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, in the Second Floor Ballroom of the IMU. MLK Day of Service projects will be announced, and efforts of participants will be recognized at this event. Student volunteers can earn credit toward the 10,000 Hours Show through the Day of Service.

The Day of Service is one of hundreds of activities held in states and cities nationwide to honor the legacy of King. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, directing the King Center and the Corporation for National and Community Service to carry out a day of service reflecting King's life and teachings. See for more information on national events.

The UI Civic Engagement Program, in partnership with the Citizen Lawyer Program, the UI Office of Student Life, and The 10,000 Hours Show of Eastern Iowa, is sponsoring the Day of Service locally.

For more information about the Iowa City area Day of Service, see and

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact the UI Civic Engagement Program, 144 IMU, 319-335-7589 or at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Mary Mathew Wilson, UI Civic Engagement Program, 319-335-7589,; George McCrory, University News Services 319-384-0012,