Walsh Volunteers Commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. with Day of Service


School News

A record number of more than 250 Walsh volunteers commemorated the life of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 19, with a day of service to the community. Walsh volunteers included students, athletic teams, faculty and staff members who collaborated with 20 community partners, addressing topics that ranged from wildlife conservation, children’s activities, homeless shelters, hunger and elderly care. The goal was to perform 1,000 hours of community service in one day throughout Stark County in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The Day of Service was incredible!  The energy from the students and community partners was contagious.  All found joy in helping others, and often made new friends during the process," said Stacey Gardner-Buckshaw, Ph.D., Walsh Director of Service Learning.  "Through events like this, Walsh is able to continue its mission to transform students into 'leaders in service to others!’  We are especially proud that the 1,000 hours of service goal was achieved through a collaborative effort of Wash students, staff, faculty and alumni, area high school, elementary and preschool students, community members and other partners."

Click Below to Read Local Media Coverage of the Day

Massillon Independent, Jan. 20: Students Answer King's Call to Service

Akron Beacon Journal, Jan. 20: Stark County Among Seven Ohio Communities to Get MLK Service Grants 

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.

One of the largest volunteer groups of about 40 Walsh participants also engaged in a unique service opportunity with Stark Parks that was made possible through funding from a SERVE Ohio Mini-Grant. Walsh volunteers constructed animal habitats for squirrels in the Center’s rehabilitation program at the Stark Parks Exploration Gateway at Sippo Lake.

The MLK Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s life and teachings into community service that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, such as fixing up a school or senior center, or it may meet a need of the spirit, such as building a sense of community or mutual responsibility. On this day, Americans of every age and background celebrate Dr. King through service projects that: strengthen communities, empower individuals and bridge barriers.

Walsh University 2015 Site Partners Included:

  • Stark Parks at Sippo Lake Park
  • Centro San Jose El Trabajado -Immigrant Worker Project
  • Martin Center Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters (at Pro Football Hall of Fame)
  • StarkFresh, Mahoning  Corridor’s Farmer Market
  • North Canton YMCA - "I Have a Dream" KidsFest
  • Refuge of Hope
  • Children’s Hospital
  • Days for Girls
  • Portage Montessori School
  • House of Loreto
  • Alliance Catholic Worker
  • Rose Lane Nursing Home
  • North Canton Library CHARACTER COUNTS! North Canton
  • Project REBUILD
  • Fairless High School National Honors Society
  • Children of Grace Preschool and Child Care Center
  • Alliance Catholic Worker

This event is a collaboration of the Walsh University Office of Service Learning, Campus Athletics, Campus Ministry, Blouin Service Leaders, Black Student Union, Students, and over 20 community partners with financial support from the Corporation for National & Community Service and Serve Ohio.