By Amy SpoonerApril 26, 2016
Each year, Service Day instills a sense of responsibility and camaraderie in incoming classes of Michigan Law 1Ls. And for the past seven years, Alumni Service Day has reminded alumni that neither the camaraderie nor the commitment to serve the community end at graduation.
The eighth Michigan Law Alumni Service Day will take place Saturday, April 30, at 11 locations across the United States. Since Alumni Service Day leaders in each city are responsible for determining what their project will be, the results reflect the diverse needs of the participating cities. For example, Honolulu alumni have worked in a tropical rainforest preserve, while this year's group in Tucson will be doing landscaping at a desert ashram. Other cities' service sites include community shelters, food banks, and parks. This local-level leadership is an important part of the event's success, said Laura Gray, director of development and alumni relations events. "Alumni Service Day is possible because of our great group of alumni leaders, who work hard to identify the needs in their community and then find a partnering organization and project that will be fun and meaningful for participants."
Whether they will be wielding paint brushes, garden tools, or power tools, the common thread of the Michigan Law community giving back to the local community makes Alumni Service Day special for all who participate.
Richard Helzberg, '65, has been involved in San Francisco's Alumni Service Day since its inception and is enthused by the program's growth in his city over the past few years. "Service Day says that Michigan Law alumni are, whatever else we do, people who can and do contribute—with genuine enthusiasm—their time for others," said Helzberg, who will be co-leading cleanup efforts with the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy again this year. "The value of Alumni Service Day for me is to band together with members of the Michigan community to help others."
Alumni living in one of the 2016 Alumni Service Day cities can still join the fun by registering online or by contacting the local alumni leaders directly. And if you don't see your city on the list, contact Laura Gray for information on starting a project next year. "The first year, I saw an email blast announcing projects at several places across the country and figured we could have an event in Hawaii," said longtime volunteer and past leader Mary Wong, '84. "It was too late to arrange an event for that year, so we started an event the second year. We might have a small number of alumni in Hawaii, but it's a great way to show our school spirit."
Alumni & Friends Service Day is sponsored by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. For more information, visit the Service Day webpage.
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