WP Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Come Together for MLK Jr. Day of Service

WP pride from the volunteers who organized clothing donations at Fr. English Community Center in Paterson

Volunteers work on campus to package meals for Rise Against Hunger.

William Paterson University students, faculty, staff, and alumni joined forces for our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, which this year took place on Friday, January 26. The University received a $10,000 grant from EngageNJ and AmeriCorps in support of this year’s programming.

With that, WP’s Office of Campus Activities, Service, and Leadership (CASL) — in partnership with the University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion —planned a robust schedule for the day that included numerous volunteerism opportunities both on campus and in the community.

The day started with breakfast on campus and a keynote presentation titled “The Power of Community,” presented by Jeff Lindor, founder and CEO of The Gentlemen’s Factory. Thereafter, participants broke into groups to for various service activities, and those assigned to off-campus locations boarded buses to get there.

The on-campus service experience had participants packaging meals for Rise Against Hunger. Off-campus service experiences took part at: OASIS: A Haven for Women and Children, Brightview Senior Residence, Paterson Black Lives Matter, Father English Community Center, BJ Wilkerson Child Development Center.

This year’s Day of Service, aside from being grant funded, was also special in that William Paterson alumni were invited, for the first time, to participate in the on-campus service experience.

Also new this year, CASL partnered with Provost Joshua Powers and our deans to incorporate the Day of Service activities into William Paterson’s faculty mentoring program. Encouraging students and their faculty mentors to volunteer together, explains CASL Director Donna Minnich Spuhler, would foster better connections through a meaningful service project. 

“Overall, we are very excited to see members of our community come together to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy by serving those in need from our local communities and beyond,” she added.