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Service Warms Hearts & Honors History

  • Author:

    Olivia Kennedy

  • Published:

    March 19, 2019

Spartans Will. Serve | Header Graphic

The month of February can feel lackluster. Many Alumni are counting down the days until their vacation or anxiously waiting for the temperature to increase just a few degrees. February is also a month of celebration and reflection; it’s a time to focus on the legacy of changemakers. Black History Month can be honored in many ways, and one way in which the MSU community paid its respects was through volunteerism.

On February 23, Spartans spread out across four communities in Michigan for the Celebrating  Black History Month Through Service day. This event was a joint endeavor between the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement and the MSU Alumni Association. Students, alumni, staff, and friends came together to complete service projects in Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing, and Detroit.

The Grand Rapids event was a dual project, with volunteers spending time with Habitat for Humanity and 20 Liters. The two-for-one opportunity allowed Spartans to assemble water filtration systems for use in Rwanda and paint or air seal and frame a home for a local family. This event was organized by a student and executed in partnership with the West Michigan Spartans alumni club.

In Flint, volunteers sorted toys, assembled backpacks, and played basketball with children at Whaley Children’s Center. In addition, alumni offered words of wisdom to the local students. The project, organized by the MSU Alumni Club of Genesee County, was a truly heartwarming experience for everyone.

Over in Detroit, individuals volunteered at Gleaners Community Food Bank. This project, which included both students and alumni, was coordinated by the Detroit Spartans alumni club. And, of course, groups of Spartans helped out right here in Lansing, splitting the effort between Gardner International Magnet School and Turner Dodge House in projects organized by students.

No matter where volunteers spent their time, the passion to improve local communities was strong. We thank all Spartans who helped organize and execute this impactful event.

If you didn’t get the chance to participate, don’t worry! Our next service opportunity, Global Day of Service, is coming up on April 13. Spartans around the world will help communities with projects such as beach clean-ups, food distributions, home builds and more. Get all the info at and remember… Spartans Will. Serve!