Comets Honor MLK’s Legacy with Help for Hungry, Heartfelt Words on Day of Service

Handwritten greetings were among the 200 cards that UT Dallas students, faculty and staff made for health care workers and isolated seniors in North Texas during the University’s day of service.

Volunteers delivered food and supplies for the Comet Cupboard and made cards for health care workers and isolated older adults as part of The University of Texas at Dallas’ annual day of service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

During the Jan. 29 project, donors dropped off 361 food and personal care items for the campus food pantry, while virtual volunteers created 200 cards to say thank you to Parkland Health & Hospital System workers and to provide encouragement to seniors at various locations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

From left: Carolina Parra, marketing and global business freshman; Yosef Awad, neuroscience freshman; Daemion McKellar, arts, technology and emerging communication senior; Dominica Dzakah, biology senior; and Raneem Albosstani, neuroscience senior, stocked the Comet Cupboard.

The Comet Cupboard provides weekly distributions of food and personal care items to enrolled UT Dallas students in need. Many volunteers who were not able to deliver items for the food pantry were grateful to be able to contribute by making cards at home, said Anne Hart, program coordinator in the Office of Student Volunteerism.

“Through our cards, we hope to express our support and gratitude to our local health care workers who are working around-the-clock to take care of our community,” Hart said. “Ultimately, our cards will help to foster Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a ‘beloved community’ and allow us to connect with each other during a time when connection seems quite fragmented.”

The event, which was adjusted this year to accommodate volunteers in person and virtually, was sponsored by the Multicultural Center in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office of Student Volunteerism. The MLK Day of Service was created in 2018 to fulfill King’s challenge for people to help their communities.

In Case You Missed It

See the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew and a message from UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson, on the Multicultural Center’s YouTube channel.

“We have Comets who are dealing with and surviving through food insecurity,” Arthur Gregg, director of the Multicultural Center and assistant vice president for multicultural affairs, said at the Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Breakfast, which was a virtual event. “What better way to be that [beloved] community that we talked about than to help our Comet family by supporting our community.”

With the theme of “Moving from Injustice to Justice,” this year’s Dream Week events also included a session of Comets Cultural Conversations. The event featured guest speaker Priscilla Escobedo, special collections archivist at UT Arlington and a board member of the Dallas Mexican American Historical League. The celebration breakfast, sponsored by the Multicultural Center and the Student Union & Activities Advisory Board, featured speaker Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew, founder and CEO of Soulstice Consultancy and vice president of community affairs & strategic alliances for the State Fair of Texas.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].