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Service Learning

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Welcome to Service Learning at Detroit Mercy!

University of Detroit Mercy, a Catholic university in the Mercy and Jesuit traditions, believes that it is compassion that starts the engine of learning and engagement. Since 1995, thousands of Detroit Mercy students have been serving agencies that help our forgotten – as an essential way of learning. Each year, more than 75 service learning courses require all students to serve with agencies like yours because the teachers believe that they cannot learn the course as well without serving those you help. Each September and January, more than 700 students seek direct service opportunities in which they can work close enough to those you serve to feel compassion for them. We encourage you to consider letting them serve with you.

What can we expect of Service Learning students?

Our students are coming to you needing to serve so that they can learn. You can expect them to be motivated, open and caring.
These students are required to provide from five to 25 hours of service, depending on their course. While this is just a few hours, most community service agencies are always glad to have Service Learning students because they are so effective; some become regular volunteers.

Primary availability is from September-November and January-March.

What is expected of our agency?

The opportunity to do real direct service: A liaison like a volunteer coordinator is needed to make that connection.

Scheduling time and place of service: Students often seek afternoon or weekend service, a few hours a few times rather than just a single hour weekly.

Verification of student service: When the student completes the agreed service, this coordinator needs to sign a form the student will provide. 

On-Campus Service Opportunities

Help for Flint

Detroit Mercy is partnering with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Flint and Detroit Sip (an officially designated Flint relief collection point.) We are collecting water and other needed supplies.

If you have any questions, contact Drew Peters at petersas@udmercy.edu.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish also needs help every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They need your help by unloading trucks, working on their phone bank, or serving as a translator. They would appreciate any help you can provide, for whatever time you can offer. If you want to sign up, contact the Coordinator in Flint: Rick Vasquez at 810-919-9133. If you have other questions, you can contact Detroit Mercy contact Veronica Beltran at beltrave@udmercy.edu or call 313-993-3310.

Rx for Reading Detroit

Rx for Reading is a children's literacy initiative sponsored by University of Detroit Mercy.  Our mission is to expand access to children's books and support families in reading with their children. Detroit Mercy students distribute over 1,500 children's books a month through our community partners, including low-income health, dental and WIC clinics, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, community centers and churches.  Student volunteers also read with local preschoolers and elementary students to model a lifetime love of reading.

To learn more about Rx for Reading, see their webpage at www.rxreading.org. If you are interested in volunteering, email readingdetroit@gmail.com to let them know of your interest and discuss options.

Detroit prevention and awareness in the community

DPAC is a new student organization on campus that aims to spread awareness of sexual assault, dating violence and domestic violence, and to inform the campus community of resources available for dealing with such situations. DPAC will put on various campus events to teach about the warning signs, severity and proper responses to situations of sexual assault, dating violence and domestic violence, as well as peer education groups led by students. Additionally, they are partnered with local agencies that provide support and services to victims of sexual assault, dating violence and domestic violence in order to connect student volunteers and university resources with community service opportunities. 

DPAC is constantly looking for student volunteers to help with on campus and community events. To find out more, please like our Facebook page or contact Callie Bendes at bendescp@udmercy.edu or call at 586-552-6070.

Campus Kitchen

The Campus Kitchen has several opportunities to help and no transportation is required. To see the list of opportunities available and to sign up, visit its website or email ckudm1@gmail.com. If you are interested in more information or signing up, you can also contact Jillian Stewart at stewarjt@udmercy.edu.

Service in the City

Service in the City and Neighbors Building Brightmoor have partnered together to volunteer in improving and strengthening the Brightmoor community. Each week is a bit different and previous tasks have included gardening, painting, picking up trash and building a ramp. There are opportunities to volunteer every Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m.

Click here to visit their website. If you're interested in volunteering, contact John Van Beaver at 313-993-1560.

Student Conversation Club

This is a great opportunity for international and United States students to come together to make friends and learn about each other's cultures. If you're interested or would like to learn more, contact Lara Wasner at wasnerle@udmercy.edu.

Other Organizations

You can consider joining Alpha Phi Omega. This national service fraternity is focused on providing service to the community. Detroit Mercy's Eta Pi Chapter is a warm, welcoming organization. If you are interested, contact Haleigh Ethridge at ethridha@udmercy.edu.

If you're looking for more opportunities, visit our Facebook page for up-to-date information on special opportunities.

Finding Opportunities to Serve in the Community

Here are some options for finding places you can serve according to your gifts and needs.

Try the list of opportunities that the Institute has identified for you. First click on the type of Service Opportunities you are looking for below. The opportunities are with agencies who are familiar with Detroit Mercy and the Institute.

  1. All Opportunities
  2. Close to Campus
  3. Contact Information for all Current Agencies
  4. Direct Service Only
  5. Environmental Work (includes Fighting Blight, Community Gardens, Beautification, Clean Water)
  6. Health-related (includes Physical Health, Mental Health, Disabilities and Substance Abuse)
  7. Poverty-related (includes issues of hunger, homelessness and poverty)
  8. Regularly Scheduled Opportunities
  9. Weekend Opportunities (Opportunities from the above lists that are available on the weekends)
  10. Working with Youth

Now, choose the opportunity that interests you and contact the person listed for that agency. These folks coordinate volunteers like you.

Service Location Map

We've developed a map containing several different service learning locations. The blue marker with the black dot in the center is University of Detroit Mercy, which can be used as a reference point.

Read More

Service Match Resources

United Way allows you to set up a profile for yourself or for your class or faculty and you can even recieve email updates.

VolunteerMatch is a great public site for finding a site by type of service and location.

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