MLK Day a day on, not a day off at USF

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Press release from the University of Saint Francis:

MLK Day a Day On, Not a Day Off at USF

(January 6, 2011) – While some schools and businesses take a day off to pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, the University of Saint Francis (USF) will take the opposite approach—a day “on.”

USF will recognize national Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17, with “Acting on the Dream: A Day On, Not a Day Off,” which gives students, faculty and staff a chance to lead children’s activities and participate in service projects across campus and Fort Wayne.

The university will suspend classes so students can participate in the faculty organized and led projects. Other on-campus commemorative activities and displays open to the public will also take place Jan. 17 through Feb 4.

USF students, faculty and staff will participate in the following service projects on Jan. 17:

  • From 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m., students and faculty will play games and read to children at Charis House, which cares for homeless women and children, providing shelter, food, education and life skills. While the children are entertained, their mothers will receive hand care in the form of massages and paraffin dips by USF Physical Therapy Studies Club, and hair styling, makeup and nail care by Masters of Cosmetology of Fort Wayne students.
  • From 9 a.m.-noon, students and faculty will organize merchandise, clean a back room and perform light maintenance for Fort Wayne Rescue Mission’s Bargains Galore Thrift Shop at 2203 S. Lafayette St.
  • From 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 12:30-4 p.m., f/8 Photo Club will provide professional-quality on-site family portraits for residents of Vincent House and Vincent Village, which serves homeless families, at 2827 Houlton Ave.
  • From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., USF students will serve as docents at the African American History Museum at 436 E. Douglas Ave.
  • From noon-4 p.m., the women’s soccer team will be reading, playing games and interacting with patients in the children’s wing at 7950 W. Jefferson Boulevard.

The following service projects will be completed from 1-4 p.m.:

  • USF groups will dust and vacuum rooms, clean toys and bake cookies for families staying at Children’s Hope House at 7922 W. Jefferson Boulevard, which provides a temporary, low-cost home-away-from-home for families whose children are being treated for serious illness, injuries or birth defects at area hospitals.
  • At St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store at 1600 S. Calhoun St., volunteers will tidy up and sort clothing for the store, which serves the needy.
  • Another group will be storing inventory at Friends of the Third World, 611 W. Wayne St., which sells items produced by fair trade—in which the artisans receive education and a fair price for their goods.
  • Volunteers will also organize donations for Vincent Village, which serves the homeless, at 2827 Holton Ave., while others will help elderly or needy Fort Wayne residents with cleaning, painting, yard work and other tasks as organized by NeighborLink Fort Wayne.
  • Students and faculty will also sort and organize household items and clean the warehouse at Mustard Seed Furniture Bank at 3636 Illinois Road, move, sort and organize items at Love Community Center at 1331 E. Berry St. and participate in art projects with children at Boys and Girls Club, a safe, after-school learning place, at 2609 Fairfield Ave.
  • From 1:30-3:30 p.m., USF volunteers will sort food and perform general cleaning for the Associated Churches, 802 E. Wayne St., which supports the local food banks.

The following Martin Luther King Jr. activities are open to the public on the USF campus:

  • At 11 a.m. on Jan. 17, a prayer service will be conducted in Gunderson Auditorium, Achatz Hall.
  • From 1-4 p.m. on Jan. 17, working together as a team and respecting others will be emphasized at Celebrate the Dream: We Can All Play Together, an interactive activity with University of Saint Francis sports teams and education majors. A football toss, softball throw, basketball free-throw, peace bingo and bracelet-making are planned for kids of all ages in the North Campus gymnasium. As part of the event, Explore Your Dreams through Art will allow kids to express ideas with air-dry clay to take home and dry. Additional materials will also be available to combine with clay and work with creatively. Parents are required to stay with their children during the events. For more information, contact Dr. Ann Hernandez in the School of Professional Studies at or 399-7700, ext. 8413.
  • Volunteers will make fleece, no-sew blankets as part of Project Linus, an effort to provide blankets for children in northeast Indiana who are seriously ill or traumatized. The blanket-making will be in room 141 at the USF North Campus on Jan. 17 from 1-4 p.m.
  • A free chili supper, the showing of the movie, “The Little Town of Bethlehem,” and a discussion will take place from 5-7:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 in the Student Center, sponsored by the organization Just Peace. The film examines the struggle to promote equality through nonviolent engagement in the midst of incredible violence that has dehumanized all sides. The film and discussion will repeat on Thursday, Jan. 20 from 7-9:30 p.m. in Gunderson Auditorium, Achatz Hall. Contact Barb O’Connor at for information.
  • From Jan. 17-Feb. 4, collections will take place campus-wide for the following charities: eyeglasses for the Lions Club; clothing for St. Vincent de Paul; food for Associated Churches; and food boxtops for education at Precious Blood School. Collection boxes will be in all USF buildings.
  • On Tuesday, Jan. 18 a reading of poetry by African American writers will take place in the atrium of Achatz Hall at 7 p.m. Jazz music and a slideshow of art by African Americans will accompany the poetry reading. A discussion of the poetry and artwork will follow. Seating is limited.
  • On Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. in Gunderson Auditorium in Achatz Hall, an interdisciplinary panel of USF professors will discuss topics relevant to “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: The Man, the Times, the Ideas.” Rubin Brown, a member of the board of trustees for the African American Historical Museum, will speak.
  • On Jan. 27, the USF Student Nurses Association will assist Red Cross workers with registration and donor courtesies at a public blood drive from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the North Campus gymnasium. Community members can sign up for a time to give blood by contacting
  • A reproduction of a document from Martin Luther King Jr. and hand-written speech notes by King, all on loan from the Karpeles Manuscript Library, which houses a rotating collection of unique documents and artifacts, are on display in the Lee and Jim Vann Library on the second floor of the Pope John Paul II Center.

The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers 37 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith E. Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic programs and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics basketball team, the 2010 Division II national champions. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.

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