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Students log 200 hours during JMBA community service week

Published: November 18th, 2013

Category: Feature

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Students donated more than 800 cans of food as part of the “Canned Immunity” initiative during JMBA community service week. (Photo by Javier Edwards)

By Kelcee Griffis (4JM)

University of Florida Levin College of Law students lent helping hands and logged nearly 200 hours of service during the John Marshall Bar Association’s annual community service week, which kicked off Veterans Day and ended Saturday.

One group of students spent the holiday at Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, which services five counties.

They moved pallets of food and organized the goods for family boxes, 50-pound packages the bank distributes designed to feed a family of four for a week, said Linsey Lovell, vice president for community service.

Daniel Fontana (2L) volunteered at the Alachua County Humane Society for about four hours on the same day.

Fontana said the students in his volunteer group took the dogs on long walks and ran around with them.

“Without us there, they would have been cramped up in their crates all day,” he said.

Others in the group washed linens, blankets and towels that help keep the pets warm in the cooler weather.

Throughout the week, UF Law professors ran the “Canned Immunity” initiative, which exempted students who brought donations of canned goods to class from getting called on that day. About 800 cans were collected that way, Lovell said.

On Wednesday and Thursday, JMBA members ran a bone marrow donor registration drive. The drive was inspired by a GrayRobinson partner in Miami who was diagnosed with cancer and seeking a bone marrow donation. The students worked to find a match for him and donated the about 90 donor names they collected to the national donor registry.

Other charities that received help from UF law students during the week were Haven Hospice, Habitat for Humanity and Gainesville Pet Rescue.

“It’s really amazing to see students come together, whether its out of the goodness of their hearts or to win a contest or to not get called on in class,” Lovell said.

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