Friday, January 17, 2020

By Letty Fernandez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JAN. 17, 2020 – UTRGV students will descend on the entire Rio Grande Valley to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 20.

The MLK Day of Service takes place on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” and is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. This year, marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy.

On this day, UTRGV students will volunteer at a variety of locations across the Rio Grande Valley. This year, the UTRGV Office of Leadership and Mentoring, who coordinates the event, is hoping to reach a goal of 300 volunteers.

At UTRGV, students have the opportunity to learn about volunteering and service-learning opportunities through the Engagement Zone, the university’s volunteer platform, where students create their own personal profile and review the volunteer opportunities that interest them throughout the year.

For information, or questions, please email

The following is a list of places where UTRGV students will volunteer on MLK Day of Service:

Lower Rio Grande Valley Locations:

  • Good Neighbor – Assist at the Food Bank (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Amigos del Valle – Bingo/Arts & Crafts (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Ozanam Center (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Proyecto Juan Diego* – Curb numbering Cameron Park ( 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Loaves and Fishes – Meal prep and kitchen clean-up at Harlingen location (4:30-6 p.m.)
  • LUPE* – Canvassing for upcoming census in Laguna Heights (9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Healthy Communities of Brownsville* – Meet at Walmart parking lot on Old Port Isabel Road for a trash clean-up of area across. ( 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Spanish Meadows – Bingo and other activities (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Upper Rio Grande Valley Locations:

  • McAllen Nature Center* (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley – two shifts (8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.)
  • National Butterfly Center* (8 a.m.-12 p.m.) 

* Some locations are outdoors and depending on weather conditions may be cancelled.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.