By Mary Smith, communications manager
Why do hundreds of thousands of volunteers from all 50 states participate each year in the largest community service event in the country? Because, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “They want to be the peace they wish to see in the world.”
For the past ten years, the college has been giving staff and students the third Monday in January off so that they can volunteer in their community, emulating the slain civil rights leader’s lifelong dedication to serving others.
Timed to coincide with Rev. King’s birthday on Jan. 15, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service was established by Congress in 1994. This year, it will be observed on Monday, Jan. 20. But, as in the past, the college has scheduled volunteer opportunities for the preceding Saturday, as well, to give more people a chance to participate.
Off-site opportunities for volunteers are still available on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Arts and Scraps, Focus Hope, Gleaners Food Bank and Windemere Park (senior living facility). On Monday, Jan. 20, volunteers may choose from Capuchin Soup Kitchen or Gleaners Food Bank (Detroit or Warren). On Saturday, on-site volunteer activities will also be available in the Lorenzo Cultural Center on Center Campus, where a free luncheon for all volunteers will be served at 1 pm.
“Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is an opportunity for our students to make a positive impact on their community,” says Colleen Hitchings, Student Life and Leadership coordinator. “By choosing to spend the day serving others, our students honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory and help spread his message of service and equality.”
The event is open to all staff, students and community residents, but you must register in advance. All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt to wear on their day of service.