They're sorting books, stacking canned food, and building the foundation for new homes. For this Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, students at UNO aren't just stepping out to help those in need, they're also creating service opportunities for the whole community.
UNO's Office of Civic and Social Responsibility invited volunteers of all ages to meet at Omaha's North High School at 8:30 a.m. on Monday. From there, students and other community volunteers are bused around the city to various service opportunities.
Projects this year include making a mural along Leavenworth Street, building alongside Habitat for Humanity crews, and turning old t-shirts into dog toys for the shelter, just to name a few.
UNO Junior Jordan Koch tells WOWT 6 News she could spend the holiday sleeping or doing homework, "but serving the community is just, it's really hard to describe in words the feeling that you get when you help someone else."
Outside of the service projects, there's a great deal both students and community volunteers can take away from their time together.
"They're such rich opportunities for learning about different professions and different ways of life," said UNO's Civic and Social Responsibility Director Kathe Lyons. She says it's good for older volunteers to connect with today's college culture "because many of our students have very rich, multi-faceted lives."
Monday's service projects were expected to wrap up by 1 p.m. It's one of 16 service days organized by UNO every year.