Congressman Jim Himes to speak at MLK Day of Service program organized by the University of Bridgeport and local community groups

Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) will speak at the University of Bridgeport on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 18, when students honor the civil rights leader by hosting outreach events for the community and joining hundreds of area residents to volunteer at organizations throughout Fairfield County.

Rep. Himes will deliver his remarks at the Field of Hope indoor carnival from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wheeler Recreation Center, 400 University Avenue, on the UB campus. The carnival is free to children and their families.

The carnival and other outreach programs are part of Day of Service, a national volunteer drive that has been held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the past seven years. The Day of Service campaign in Bridgeport has been organized by the University of Bridgeport Office of Student Affairs; the nonprofit group, Service For Peace; and other local organizations.

More than 400 volunteers are expected to participate at Day of Service events in Bridgeport.

Individuals who would like to volunteer can register at 8:30 a.m. at the John J. Cox Student Center, 224 University Avenue, on the University of Bridgeport campus. Free T-shirts will be given to all volunteers. A closing ceremony and raffle with prizes will be held 3:30 p.m. at the Cox Center to mark the end of the day’s events.

“Service is the best way to honor the memory of Dr. King,” said Kenneth Holmes, dean of students. “Here at the University of Bridgeport, we have a spirit of service. Our students donated over 10,000 volunteer hours in communities throughout Connecticut last year, preparing meals for the homeless, visiting the sick and elderly, mentoring children, and this holiday helps us concentrate this spirit of service to the community.”

Day of Service events take place between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Bridgeport Public Library, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Volunteers will sort books and paint work stations at the Main Library, 925 Broad St. The program helps the library prepare for its annual Friends of the Library Book Sale.
  • Caps for Cure, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Knit caps for chemotherapy patients at the John J. Cox Student Center, 224 University Avenue.
  • Cardinal Shehan Center, 10 a.m. to noon: Work with children ages 5 to 16, doing arts-and-crafts, sports and games, photography, and other activities during the Center’s Open Rec Day, 1494 Main Street, Bridgeport.
  • Connecticut Food Bank, 9:30 a.m. to noon: Volunteers will sort food at the Food Bank’s Fairfield location, 74 Linwood Avenue, Fairfield.
  • Field of Hope, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Includes games, face painting, a peace poster contest for children, a health and wellness fair, gymnastics and tae kwon do demonstrations and training for children. Financial education for adults will be provided by Citibank. Montano Technology Center, which works with autistic patients, will provide technology games. Bridgeport Police Department Canine Unit will demonstrate, and the Bridgeport Fire Department will show fire equipment and conduct education about fire safety. Location: University of Bridgeport Wheeler Recreation Center, 400 University Avenue.
  • Habitat for Humanity, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Volunteers will help with indoor and outdoor jobs at the housing organization’s sites throughout Bridgeport.
  • Harbor View Apartments, 10 a.m. to noon: Volunteers host a breakfast and chat with Harbor View residents, reflecting on MLK Day and issues of peace and civil rights. They also will host crafts and other activities. Activities will be held in the Harbor View Community Room. 376 East Washington Avenue, Bridgeport.
  • Marina Village, 10 a.m. to noon: Volunteers will help clean up and move furniture at 773 South Street, Bridgeport.
  • Urban Center, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Sort food, clothing, and toys at the Urban Center, 98 Lindley Street, Bridgeport.
  • VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Volunteers will visit, help with transport, and enjoy activities with senior residents of the Bridgeport Health Care Center, 600 Bond Street, Bridgeport.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,