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DePaul students volunteer at Our Lady of Charity School on MLK Day

In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative, University Ministry in the Loop and the Black Law Student Association teamed up to sponsor a Donate-A-Day at Our Lady of Charity elementary school in Cicero, Ill. on Jan. 25. Twenty-two dedicated volunteers gathered at the DePaul Center for a light breakfast before boarding the bus to head over to the school. Law and international business students participated in the service day and worked together to revitalize the elementary school.

Law student volunteers work together to enter books into school's library system.
Our Lady of Charity is a large three-story building with one maintenance person to manage repairs and upkeep and to handle the cleaning duties. As a result, teachers clean their own classrooms and the school’s classrooms and hallways rarely get a fresh coat of paint. DePaul volunteers helped address these issues and divided to scrub and brighten classrooms and paint trim.

Thanks to the volunteers’ work, Our Lady of Charity’s teachers and students returned on Monday to find clean classrooms and newly painted trim. The volunteers also updated the library by inserting barcodes into books and logging the books into the computer system. For the lunch break, a parent from the school prepared and delivered a hot, home-cooked meal for the volunteers. School Principal Katie Olson then explained the demographics and mission of the school, allowing volunteers to better understand why their service to the community was so valuable.

Desalina Williams, third-year law student and PBCSI student coordinator, described her experience: “Our Lady of Charity is a great school with a great faculty and parents. When we arrived, we saw teachers and parents dedicating their Saturday to educate the children. Their dedication motivated me to continue volunteering. I hope we continue volunteering at this site because it is so uplifting to see the community support for this school.”

This was the second year that DePaul has volunteered at Our Lady of Charity School.

For more information about the College of Law’s Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative or how to get involved with its Donate-A-Day service projects, contact Cheryl Price at