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Week of January 14, 2013

UM-Dearborn prepares for 20th anniversary of MLK Day of Service

Students paint a classroom at Ann Visger Elementary School in River Rouge during Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 2012.

On the eve of UM-Dearborn’s first Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, a winter storm hit southeast Michigan. Twelve-inch snowdrifts covered the region.

“We thought it might kill the effort,” said Helen Santiz, a founding MLK Day committee member.

But to their surprise, people showed up.

Twenty years later, they’re still showing up for the annual service event.

On Jan. 21, members of the UM-Dearborn community will participate in the 20th anniversary of the MLK Day of Service, commemorating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year, roughly 400 volunteers from UM-Dearborn and Henry Ford Community College will join forces to serve more than a dozen community organizations throughout Metro Detroit.

The list of projects is as wide and diverse as the members of the UM-Dearborn community. Participants will refurbish old homes with Detroit Rescue Mission, make arts and crafts at the Redford Geriatric Village, clean the facility at the Franklin Wright Settlements. They’ll assemble book covers with Beyond Basics and make fleece blankets and toys for the Dearborn Animal Shelter.

“I love seeing the interest that has developed in young people today to actually go out and do something to help,” Santiz said.

For a complete list of UM-Dearborn activities related to Martin Luther King Day, go to


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“The Music Lesson” by Caspar Netscher, U-M Museum of Art new acquisition, first floor connector near the museum’s historic wing.

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