As part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 15, UWM students, faculty, staff, alumni and family members gave back to the community. They were just some of the more than 500 volunteers at Milwaukee’s South Division High School who painted murals to inspire the students.
On the third Monday in January, people across the U.S participate in volunteer activities as part of the Day of Service. In Milwaukee, City Year organizes events that draw volunteers from local schools, nonprofits and businesses.
For the past eight years, UWM’s Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research has recruited people for the day. The UWM Alumni Community Engagement program has also recruited volunteers for three years.
“This was a great opportunity to participate in a day that means so much to so many people,” said UWM alumna Tanya Wiedenhoeft, who was participating in the day of service for the first time. “I’m really happy to be a part of something bigger, rather than taking the day off and staying home.”
Wiedenhoeft participated with her son and daughter. She helped paint a mural of the Egyptian pyramids. Other volunteers painted murals of the Seven Wonders of the World, as well as book covers of “The Great Gatsby” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
“The students get to see the things they’re learning about when they walk through the hallways,” said Patricia Patterson, a UWM alumna who has volunteered for the past three years said. “This day celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr., but it also supports schools and education in our community.”
The Alumni Community Engagement program organizes and participates in service projects year-round. The program is currently planning a project for Earth Day 2018.