The Catholic University of America

Jan. 18, 2008

Martin Luther King Day of Service Draws 130 CUA Volunteers

Approximately 130 members of the CUA community will be spending Monday, Jan. 21 - their day off for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday - working in several D.C. public schools.

Faculty, staff, students and alumni have signed up for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, making it a day "on" instead of a day off. Working with Greater D.C. Cares, City Year and the D.C. Jewish Community Center, three groups from CUA will be making improvements at D.C. schools, including Roosevelt Senior High School in Northwest and Hine Junior High School and Turner Elementary School, both in Southeast.

The groups are responding to an act passed by Congress in 1994 designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday as a national day of volunteer service. The day is intended to honor King's legacy of service and social justice.

This is the third year the Office of Campus Ministry has coordinated the volunteer opportunity. In years past, approximately 25 students and several staff members have signed up. This year, the CUA football team is on board, filling 40 volunteer positions. Staff members and their spouses account for a group of 20.

"This is a dream come true for me," says Emmjolee Mendoza Waters, associate campus minister for community service, referring to the rise in the number of volunteers.

The football team, working at Roosevelt Senior High School, will be building benches, covering graffiti and painting murals. At the other schools, the groups will paint, clean, renovate playground equipment and improve landscaping.