Service event brings students into community

Service event brings students into community

Volunteers of Hands on Tuscaloosa worked Friday at a damaged house in Alberta. Workers removed materials from the house to the side of the street to be removed later. Roughly 80 volunteers worked at various locations around Tuscaloosa./CW|Megan Smith

Adrienne Burch

UA’s Community Service Center (CSC) will join with other UA student organizations to host Hands on Tuscaloosa, a volunteer event honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon.

The CSC received a grant from North Carolina Campus Compact designated to provide help in the areas of disaster relief and education.

Volunteers will be working at the McKenzie Court Housing Authority to hold an educational fun day for the students at the housing authority. They will do arts and crafts projects that all relate to King with the students.

The CSC decided to use this day of service to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his many contributions to society.

“Making a difference was the lifestyle of Martin Luther King Jr., and it is important for students to remember his great legacy,” said Rachel Edington, assistant director of the UA CSC.

Another group of Hands on Tuscaloosa volunteers will be going to Alberta City on Saturday to help with disaster relief in response to the April 27 tornado.

“Hands on Tuscaloosa was started by the CSC a couple of years ago, but it has really grown since the tornado,” said Andres Mendieta, UA junior and public relations representative for the CSC.  “We have a lot of people who are regular volunteers, and many participate in our weekly service events.”

More than 400 students participated in the Hands on Tuscaloosa event during the fall semester, and even more are expected on Saturday.

These events are designed for students to build long-term relationships with community partners and local nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Project Blessings and the City of Tuscaloosa, nonprofits that are all essential to making this service day possible.

“The CSC is excited to provide UA students with the opportunity to volunteer in the community,” Edington said.

Students can register up until noon on Friday for the event at the CSC website, www.volunteer.ua.edu.

Check-in will begin at the Recreation Center pool parking lot at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and then volunteers will be transported to their designated sites. Lunch and transportation will be provided.