Volunteer website debuts with MLK Day of Service
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 00:01
“I have a dream…” are the first words that come to mind for many when recalling Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous rhetoric about peace and equality. However, his words also inspired a focus on decreased social barriers and community engagement. In addition to Miami’s annual Day of Service, honorary program, and campus-wide march for MLK Day, Miami students can now get involved through a new online match program, which pairs up students with volunteer work opportunities.
Although the Day of Service is just one day, countless opportunities for students to volunteer year-round are available through the Office of Community Service and Engagement. According to Donahue, the new website, called Noble Hour, will be used beginning this semester instead of the Hub.
By registering on the website with a “MiamiOH” account, students are able to log their service hours, credit their hours to a specific group, and find information about service opportunities, internships and jobs.
By joining Noble Hour and logging service hours, students make themselves eligible for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award is funded by the parents group and features bronze, silver and gold tiers, as well as a lapel pin for graduation.
Donahue said the new website not only better fits the capacity of the Office of Community Service and Engagement, it is more interactive and easy to navigate for students. The site provides a way to unify Oxford with regional campuses and thus share opportunities.
“The site is set up similar to social media sites and features a mobile phone app,” Donahue said. “It’s very modern and accessible.”
According to Monica Ways, director of the Office of Community Engagement and Service, the Day of Service, which was first implemented at Miami four years ago, has steadily evolved, becoming more closely linked with the commemorative events taking place on campus.
According to Megan Donahue, off-campus affairs coordinator of the Office of Community Service and Engagement, the Office of Diversity Affairs is coordinating the Day of Service. The commemorative program will run from 10 a.m. to noon and volunteer time slots will be available from noon to 2 p.m. Students interested in getting involved can sign up in person at the Office of Diversity Affairs. Volunteer sites include the Oxford Community Choice Pantry, The Knolls of Oxford, The Animal Adoption Foundation and the Family Resource Center.
Junior Chelsea Stegman said she believes the day of service is a meaningful way to honor King through action, and hopes to get her sorority to take part in the future.
“I am excited to start using Noble Hour,” Stegman said. “I think it will be an easier way for members of the sorority to track our service.”
With the addition of the winter term, this year’s celebration has special importance, said Yvania Garcia, assistant director of diversity affairs.
“Dr. King was known to give back to the community,” Garcia said. “This is a way for us to keep the dream going.”