Last year, over 16,000 students, faculty, staff and community volunteers representing 147 campuses in 28 states, plus the District of Columbia, organized and implemented projects on or around the Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 19, 2009. This year, the Office of Community Outreach and Campus Life proudly co-hosted Lees-McRae’s first Martin Luther King Day of Service on Saturday, February 13.
Beginning at 9 a.m. students and staff munched on granola bars and slurped down coffee as President Colley kicked off the conference speaking about the importance of service at Lees-McRae College. Dante Treggs, a junior and the President of SOAR (Students of All Races), followed President Colley and segued into why students and staff dedicate service in honor of Dr. King and the importance of his teachings.
Shortly after 10, students picked up Bobcat packed lunches, which were donated by John Wolcott and Aramark Dining Services, and half of the volunteers were transported to various non-profit agencies for the day’s work. The other half stayed in the Cannon Student Center to work on projects there.
By the end of the day, with staff support, 40 students handmade 22 fleece blankets for Volunteer Avery County which will go to Avery County’s needy elderly population; raised over 200 non-perishable food items for Newland’s Reaching Avery Ministries’ food pantry; cooked and served lunch to 35 residents of the Watauga County Hospitality House; and delivered 60 Bobcat packed lunches that were donated by Aramark to the Watauga County Hospitality House.
Volunteers donated time at RAM’s Rack Thrift Store, Newland’s Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and Watauga County’s Parent to Parent.
Forty students, with the support of committed staff members, made a significant impact on the surrounding community on that Saturday. The fact that this event was so successful with committed group of volunteers proves that Dr. Martin Luther King was right; “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.”