Martin Luther King Jr. once said life’s most urgent question is “What are you doing for others?” University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is responding this spring and summer with a global initiative to encourage members of its university community to step forward and participate in National Volunteer Month.
UMGC’s Global Give invites all staff, students, and alumni to use their skills and education to volunteer at events in Maryland, across the United States, at UMGC Europe in Germany, and throughout the world.
“The UMGC Global Give inspires and mobilizes our community to volunteer in their local community, to become a career champion mentoring UMGC students, or to help students in need through scholarship support,” said Nikki Sandoval, associate vice president of institutional advancement.
In Maryland, members of the UMGC community will team up with the Rock Creek Conservancy on April 8 for volunteer action in Rock Creek Park, a federal urban park. A park representative will share a brief presentation and volunteers will help clean the area. The activity is also part of the Annual Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup, a month-long push to remove litter throughout the Rock Creek watershed. Members of UMGC’s Environmental Awareness Club will share environmental information with participants at the event.
UMGC’s alumni website spotlights other volunteer opportunities, including through local government websites, volunteermatch.org, the Engage website, and Feeding America. The website also provides tips on how to make an impact as a career mentor or provide scholarship support to students.
“With a focus on mobilizing the community to support those in need, it unites students and graduates,” Sandoval explained. “Through their actions, they are powerful examples of how a UMGC education can transform lives, families, communities, and the world.”
UMGC Europe will partner with the Kaiserslautern Kindergraves Memorial Foundation (KKMF) to clean up and garden at the American gravesite at Kaiserslautern’s main cemetery in Germany later this summer on Aug. 5. Between 1952 and 1971, 451 American infants were buried at the gravesite. The infants were born at the U.S. Landstuhl Medical Center or a nearby civilian hospital. The gravesite receives no U.S. or German funding.
In the past, UMGC Europe and faculty have helped the Ramstein Area Chief’s Group (U.S. Air Force E-9s), which manages the site and volunteer schedules. The German-American International Women’s Club and the U.S. Army Command Sergeants Majors Association have also helped maintain the burial site.
“I believe the site is a symbol of American-German friendship, mutual commitments, and care over the past decades,” said Michael Mulvey, PhD, associate professor of history and overseas collegiate faculty. “We are more than just allies.”
For a few years, Mulvey has led the charge to encourage UMGC volunteers to take part in the caretaking of the American Kindergraves gravesite.
“I think the main goal during the Global Give initiative is to have our alumni and students feel proud to be a part of an organization that creates a sense of purpose and provides impactful opportunities where connections can be made with members of our communities, all the while forming a sense of belonging,” said Madelaine Hossack, executive assistant to the vice president and director of UMGC Europe.
Hossack is working with Mulvey to coordinate volunteers at the Aug. 5 event at the American cemetery in Kaiserslautern.
For more information about the Global Give, please visit umgc.edu.