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Record Number Commemorate Martin Luther King Jr., with Day of Service

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School News

A record number of more than 400 Walsh volunteers commemorated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday, January 18, with a day of service. This year, Walsh volunteers, including students, athletic teams, faculty and staff members, partnered with 20 community organizations to address topics that ranged from education, homelessness, wildlife conservation and hunger.

Canton Repository, Tuesday, January 19: Walsh Students Give Back

North Canton Suburbanite, Friday, January 22: Walsh Students Pack Lunches for MLK Day of Service

Walsh’s MLK service began on Wednesday, January 13, with a Food Security Project where approximately 60 volunteers packed bags of food for 700 children to take home on MLK weekend. While most children look forward to a holiday break, children in need often go hungry because they depend on their school to serve them breakfast and lunch. This year, Walsh partnered with the Stark County Hunger Task Force, Sherrick Rd. Church of God and Canton Calvary Mission Backpack Projects and used resources from a Campus Compact MLK grant to add a third day’s worth of food to the weekend backpack program to feed 700 impoverished children over MLK weekend. The project included students from the Blouin Leaders in Social Justice, the Student Government Veterans Commission, Athletics and the Black Student Union, under direction of the Office of Service Learning and Campus Ministry.

On Monday, January 18, Walsh University’s Annual MLK Day of Service was held in collaboration with North Canton Character Counts and the Ohio Division of the Corporation for National Community Service. Financial support was provided from the Corporation for National & Community Service, ServeOhio, Campus Compact and Lowe’s of Massillon.

The MLK Day of service began with a kickoff breakfast and grand opening of the new Birk Center for the Arts Atrium Gallery display, "50 Years Before Tomorrow: The Story of VISTA and AmeriCorps"

The display features a timeline, photos, marketing materials, and other memorabilia to recognize AmeriCorps 50th Anniversary. The materials are being lent to Walsh University from the National Office of the Corporation for National Community Service, the Ohio Office of the Corporation for National Community Service, and from Walsh University Board Member and Alumnus, Timm Fautsko ’67, one of the first VISTA leaders. The display will be available for public view at no cost, from January 18 to March 13, 2016.

"Today, across this great country of ours, we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His ability to drive support around important issues like race relations and community service is legend. To honor him today, students from Walsh will embark on a day of community service," said Fautsko during his MLK Breakfast remarks to volunteers and students. "Your generation is our future. You are our hope. And I don’t have any concerns about what’s going to happen when I see people like you who are trying to change the world…The good news is, as you search to find your way in the world, you will always have Walsh as a moral anchor, keeping you grounded in your life."

The goals of the display are to educate the community about the history of public service, to honor leaders in service to others, and to encourage more students and area residents to serve either through AmeriCorps or in their own way.

Throughout the day, Walsh volunteers spent their service time on-site at various community partners such as Stark Sippo Lake Park Exploration Gateway, North Canton YMCA and Big Brothers/Big Sisters at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the North Canton YMCA KidsFest, Walsh football players organized and conducted activities for school-aged members. The children’s event included a dance party, games, swimming, inflatables and other organized activities. Kidsfest is a collaborative effort between Walsh University, Character Counts North Canton and the YMCA.

Walsh University 2016 site partners included:
• Stark Parks
• Stark Fresh
• United Way of Greater Stark County
• Refuge of Hope
• Alliance Catholic Worker
• Lake Township FISH
• House of Loreto
• Immigrant Worker Project
• North Canton Public Library
• Bethany Assisted Living
• Louisville YMCA
• Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Pro Football Hall of Fame
• Boys and Girls Club of Massillon
• North Canton YMCA
• Rose Lane Nursing Home
• St. Luke’s Assisted living Community
• Our Lady of Peace Catholic School

The day concluded with a Reflection Dinner sponsored by the Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs and the Black Student Union that included guest speaker President of the Stark County Chapter of the NAACP Deb Shamlin.