Editor's note: The last name of University of Louisville student Angel Okorie was misspelled in this article. The error has been corrected. (Jan. 17, 2023) 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It was more than a day of service on Monday as UofL students learned more about the city they live in to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by lending their helping hands at the Hope Village.

What You Need To Know

  • MLK Day is often observed as a day of service to communities

  • UofL students spent MLK Day volunteering at Hope Village, a houseless resource hub

  • Members of Engage Lead Serve Board organized the service trip to Hope Village

With help from her fellow students, Angel Okorie tackles more than the challenge at hand; organizing a large shipping container filled with donations.

Okorie is a member of the Engage Lead Serve Board at the University of Louisville. It’s a student government organization orchestrating service days like this one.

“I really think it’s important for people to experience the other areas of Louisville that may be under-funded just because… at the end of the day, we are all human,” Okorie said. 

Sophomore J. Pleck is a member of the UofL Women’s Lacrosse team and accompanied several of her teammates to Hope Village.

“Here in Louisville there is no professional sport, so the athletes at the university, that’s what the community is watching. And we just want to be able to give back to the people that are watching us do what we love to do,” Pleck explained.

But more than “giving back,” students are also using this experience to better understand why organizations like the Hope Village are vital to the community.

The village is a houseless resource hub. Currently, 35 people are staying here and while they do, they’re connected with medical care, job placement and opportunities to transition to more long-term housing.

Angel Todd is the director of operations at Hope Village and took the volunteering students on a tour of the facilities.

“It is a time of service and that is what we are all about. Having these extra 25 hands has been a huge help to the village as our community continues to donate so many items that are much needed, but we kind of run out of space sometimes. Having them here to organize everything has been a true blessing for us,” Todd said.