A monthly update from Dr. Sharon Gaber, President of the University of Toledo
Service part of UT’s commitment to community
As one of Ohio’s 14 public universities, UT continually strives to be a robust community resource for Toledo and northwest Ohio. In partial fulfillment of that commitment, I’m very proud that our students continue to be engaged in ongoing community service activities, which many of our alumni either participated in – or helped to launch – in previous years.
For instance, each spring our UT students volunteer thousands of hours during The Big Event – a daylong marathon of raking neighborhood yards, picking up trash in local parks, painting homes, cleaning gutters and performing other labor-intensive activities. In 2016, more than 1,500 students participated in The Big Event as a way to thank the community for supporting them throughout the year.
Our students also have raised more than $700,000 in recent years by participating in RockeTHON, a 13-hour dance marathon. Proceeds benefit pediatric patients and their families through the Children’s Miracle Network. Additionally, our student-athletes tutor local elementary school students in reading, while other UT students volunteer at various soup kitchens and food pantries to help address the issue of hunger in our community.
And, as part of this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute, UT students have expanded their commitment to include a special week of service, which occurred Jan. 16 – 20. Specifically, they provided companionship to members of the J. Frank Troy Senior Center, stocked shelves and assisted visitors at the Friendly Center (a faith-based nonprofit serving families in North Toledo), worked with kids in the Padua Center’s Alternative-to-Suspension Program, and volunteered at other local not-for-profit agencies.
I could not be more proud of these UT students! Dr. King lost his life nearly 49 years ago and it’s imperative that we keep his civil rights message alive among this younger generation. That means promoting that they get involved, take action, and stand up for what is right and just. In King’s own words, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.”