17:00 PM

National Day of Service Keeps MLK Jr.’s Ideals of Service Alive

More than 100 students and community members gathered at historic Moody Park in solidarity, appreciation, and reflection on how to keep Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideals of service alive. Volunteers worked to revitalize the park and its recreational facilities, yielding some remarkable results. The basketball court, playground areas, bleachers, gazebo, and courtyard all received much needed attention, and an amazing amount of trash was collected.

The Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning (CCESL) was proud to partner with the City of Houston’s Department of Neighborhoods (DON) and the Harris Parks & Recreation Department (HPARD) to help make this UHD tradition a success. Assistant Director of Neighborhood Services & Finance Herbert Sims, Jr.; District H Council Member Mario Castillo; and UHD President Loren J. Blanchard provided inspiring remarks before the work began. 

Caroline Smith, Associate Director of CCESL, said “A huge gratitude of thanks goes to the volunteers and partners who contributed their time and efforts to make the 35 acres of Moody Park cleaner and safer for the entire Northside community to enjoy. As the saying goes, ‘Volunteers are not paid, not because they are worthless. It is because they are priceless.’ You can’t put a price tag to a volunteer or the services and experiences they bring to others. It is a gift that each of us can give to someone.” 

Smith also shared that there are a number of activities, programs, and volunteer opportunities with HPARD in addition to some exciting employment prospects. She encourages volunteers to reach out to Moses Becerra, moses.becerra@houstontx.gov, or Hugo Garcia, hugo.garcia2@houstontx.gov, with HPARD for more information about getting involved.

GatorServe brings together UHD students, staff, faculty, friends, families, and community partners to complete projects in service to its neighbors for the two National Days of Service in remembrance of 9/11 and to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. CCESL will honor 9/11 Day of Remembrance in the fall semester with another GatorServe event. Stay tuned for details!

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.