Impact and Inspiration

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Students and other members of the UM community take part in the annual National Gandhi Day of Service.

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Students get onboard for a day of service at agencies throughout Miami.

Students and other members of the University of Miami community took part in UM’s annual National Gandhi Day of Service on Sunday, October 2.

Keynote speakers Patricia Whitely, vice president of student affairs, and Daniella Levine, founder and CEO of the Miami-based Human Services Coalition, kicked off the day of service. Participants then proceeded to sites throughout Miami-Dade County from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Volunteer activities ranged from painting and restoration to helping put out food for animals at the Miami Zoo. Other agencies assisted included Rebuilding Together, which renovates houses for disabled and economically disadvantaged Miami citizens; Kristi House, which provides a safe, nurturing environment for child victims of sexual abuse and their families; and Empowered Youth, an organization that provides at-risk youngsters with tools and support for becoming positive role models and productive members of their communities.

National Gandhi Day of Service is an annual gathering of college students across the nation with the united goal of fostering service in their communities. The event is held with Mahatma Gandhi’s virtues of equality and

compassion in mind. The initiative was first launched in 1997 at the University of Michigan and then caught on at other college campuses throughout the nation.

The University of Miami first participated in National Gandhi Day in 2003 and now boasts more than 1,000 participants every year who donate upwards of 3,000 service hours in one day to 20-plus agencies across Miami. The annual event, supervised by the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development, is the largest service day at UM.

“The best part of Gandhi Day,” said event co-chair Sumit Mehta, “is at the end of the day when people come back and see the impact they are making, and hopefully they are inspired to continue through college and beyond.”

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