A record number of civic-minded students at Missouri University of Science and Technology will participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service by taking “A Day ON, Not a Day Off” on Monday, Jan. 18. This year, more than 300 students will volunteer throughout Phelps County.
“We aim for students to build stronger relationships with the Rolla community and learn about themselves and others,” says Jessica Haywood, student service coordinator in student life at Missouri S&T. “We hope that those who participate will feel empowered to continue making active contributions to their communities.”
Following registration and breakfast, Haywood will give a call to action. Student groups will then work from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 19 projects in Rolla and St. James, Missouri.
Projects include flood clean-up at Beaver Manor, reading and playing games with residents of the Gingerbread House, St. James Golden Living Center and Presbyterian Manor, cleaning and raking leaves at Camp Brim Shire, cleaning and painting at Tri-County Humane Society, cleaning the Rolla Police Department training room, and cleaning up trash on the Rolla Lions Club disc golf course.
Projects are also planned at Camp David of the Ozarks, Greentree Learning and Childcare Center, Goodwill, the Rolla Area Sheltered Workshop, H.O.P.E. Ministries, the Russell House, the Salvation Army Thrift Store, the Community Partnership, CASA of South Central Missouri and Kaleidoscope Discovery Center. On-campus projects include making dog and cat toys, writing letters to troops and making Valentine cards for the elderly.
The first Martin Luther King Jr. Day was observed in 1986. In 1994, as a tribute to King’s personal commitment to service, Congress designated the day a national day of service. Missouri S&T volunteers will join the efforts of thousands of individuals and organizations across the county to commemorate the day.
“Students say that serving in the Rolla and St. James areas helps them to broaden their perspective of current issues affecting their communities, contribute to the solution of these issues, feel like an active part of a team, and identify new ways to impact their own life-long development,” Haywood says.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is sponsored by the Missouri S&T student life department. This year will be S&T’s eighth year to participate.