OUWB students spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteering in the community
students in blue O U W B shirts holding red cooler bags full of food
Students prepare to deliver meals to community members from the OPC in Rochester.

In celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., OUWB students spent the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day participating in a series of volunteer activities, including the Health Fair and Taste Fest at Chandler Park Academy, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, and the Reach Out & Read event at the Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak.

OUWB is one of many schools across the nation who participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service each year.

Screenings and more at the health fair

For the seventh year, OUWB medical students and faculty members shared helpful health information, nutritious food, sidewalk CPR, health screenings and Latin dancing in the cafeteria at the Health Fair and Taste Fest at Chandler Park Academy High School. The annual fair for the Harper Woods community combined important messages about health in a family friendly atmosphere and kicked off OUWB’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service before the Monday holiday.

“Working at the health fair reminds me why I’m going to medical school,” said M2 Meron Tarekegh, who helped at the blood pressure reading table.

four students in blue O U W B shirts, holding a bucket of peeled and cut potatoes
Students at the Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac spent their
morning peeling and chopping 30 lbs. of potatoes, in addition to
cleaning tables and sweeping floors.

Serving at community centers

This year, students were able to choose from different local volunteer opportunities including preparing and serving breakfast at the Baldwin Center in Pontiac, making blankets to be donated to World Medical Relief in Southfield, preparing and delivering lunches with OPC Meals on Wheels in Rochester, preparing and serving meals at Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, and cleaning and playing Bingo at the Hope Warming Center in Pontiac.

M2 Mitch Reitsma returned for his second-year volunteering at the OPC on MLK Jr. Day. His group delivered hot meals with a cold side dish, milk, and salad around the community. "It's rewarding to deliver the meal and bring a smile to their faces,” he said.

Meanwhile, other students spent their day off preparing and serving meals at both the Baldwin Center and Grace Centers of Hope. “We wanted to make the most out of our day off from rotations and were able to see some of the impact we made when lunch was served in the dining hall,” said M3 Neha Ansari, who volunteered at Grace Centers of Hope. “Through this activity set up by OUWB, we were able to do something for others and take action on MLK Jr.’s words.”

Reading in the pediatric playroom

Those who participated in the Reach Out and Read event at Beaumont Children’s Hospital spent their morning reading picture books to children, who gathered around to listen. The event was recorded live for patients who were unable to leave their rooms to watch. OUWB also donated 30 books to the pediatric playroom at the hospital.

“This event is one that our students look forward to,” said Caryn Reed-Hendon, Ph.D., OUWB director of Diversity & Inclusion. “Being able to tell stories to the pediatric patients is a highlight, particularly for the ones that are unable to leave their hospital rooms to listen live.”

In addition to the 16 students who participated in Reach Out and Read, at least 40 students volunteered in the community events and more than 30 students helped at the Health Fair and Taste Fest.