True service to others is often communicated most meaningfully by offering help with small, pedestrian tasks, as opposed to making grand gestures. For 25 volunteers from the Columbus School of Law community, that meant spending a few hours on a cold Monday morning preparing meals and snacks, making blankets, and sorting donated clothing for those in need.
The law school contingent was part of an overall volunteer force from The Catholic University of America of more than 600 people—largest group ever—who chose to participate in The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 20.
Created by Congress in 1994, the act asks all Americans each year on the third Monday in January to put in a "day on, not a day off."
This year, Catholic University-affiliated volunteers fanned out to 14 locations, including the National Park Service, the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Ronald McDonald House, Beacon House, and Washington Hebrew Congregation.
Law school volunteers including faculty, staff, and students were bussed to the latter location, where top campus administrators including law school Dean Daniel Attridge and Catholic University President John Garvey joined in the lines that chopped carrots, sliced cabbage, and otherwise helped to prepare portable meals for Washington area families and people in need.
Several law students joined law school Professor Cara Drinan and her two sons in making candy bags and cards for American troops.
Catholic University’s Office of Campus Ministry coordinated the overall event for CUA, and the law school’s coordinator of pro bono activities, Jennifer Tschirch, oversaw its role in the morning’s activities.
The volunteerism celebrated Dr. King’s legacy of peaceful progress, while also serving as a component of the law school’s Faith in Action series.
Adopted in 2013, the Faith in Action initiative supports three programs each semester which provide a unique opportunity for law students to explore the connections between faith, justice, and service with one another, and participate in real world service initiatives in the local community.