Area Universities and Colleges Celebrate a Day of Service
Over 250 volunteers took part in the 2013 MLK Challenge as part of the MLK Day of Service
Fayetteville State University’s (FSU) Office of Civic Engagement & Service Learning, in collaboration with Methodist University (MU) and Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC), sponsored the 2013 MLK Challenge Day of Service on Monday, January 21, 2013. Faculty, staff, and students of each of these institutions invited the residents of Fayetteville and Cumberland County to come out and help serve the community to celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by making this annual Day of Service “a day on, not a day off.”
Initiated by Congress in 1994, MLK Day of Service is a nationwide effort to transform the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into a day of community service, continuing to elaborate on Dr. King’s teachings that help solve problems.
Participants registered in the morning at the Berns Student Center of Methodist University and were randomly assigned to teams to complete service projects at various community sites. The teams were provided basic instructions, a general project overview and an end goal to complete within the day. Students took ownership, problem-solved and became leaders within their team’s challenge project.
Over 250 participants provided service to 13 different community organizations which included the American Red Cross – Highlands Chapter, Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland County, Cape Fear Botanical Garden, Easter Seals UCP Dorothy Spainhour Center, Fayetteville Urban Ministry, Fresh Touch Ministries, Haymount Rehabilitation & Nursing Center; Salvation Army, Whispering Pines Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Second Harvest Food Bank, Southeastern NC Radio Reading Services, Town of Spring Lake Appearance Committee, and the Veterans Empowering Veterans.
The 2013 MLK Challenge Day of Service participants helped to sort and tag hundreds of food, clothing, and household item donations for families in need. They were also trained in Disaster Preparedness as well as Hands-Only CPR. Other projects consisted of weeding and cleaning multiple flowerbeds, building cribs (8), and clearing litter from multiple sites. Finally, participants prepared and served meals to the homeless and assisted with recording readings for the blind for the Southeastern NC Radio Reading Services, visited and served lunch at local nursing and rehabilitation centers, and food donations were collected for the Second Harvest Food Bank.
A number of community businesses helped to sponsor this event, including Kickin’ Chicken, Fayetteville Public Works Commission, Luigi’s Italian Restaurant, Northern Tool + Equipment, Pizza Hut, Rudino’s Pizzeria, Spring Lake McDonalds Store #3881, Sodexo, TCBY, We Print T-Shirts, and Zaxby’s.
The 2013 MLK Challenge Day of Service activities ended with a closing ceremony that included entertainment by Methodist University’s One Voice Choir, directed by Ralph Chew and Michael Price, and Fayetteville State University’s Mane Attraction, an all-female singing ensemble directed by Denise Payton. Dr. Thomas Conway, Fayetteville State University’s Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff, provided the keynote addressthat emphasized the importance of Dr. King’s legacy and illustrated how one person can make a difference.
This 2013 MLK Challenge Day of Service project is funded in part by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that strengthens communities through service. The Corporation for National and Community Service leads the annual MLK Day of Service, working with the King Center in Atlanta and thousands of nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, and schools and businesses nationwide. For further information about MLK Day of Service and what’s taking place across the country, visit MLKDay.gov.
Fayetteville State University is the second-oldest public institution in North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina System, FSU has nearly 6,000 students and offers degrees in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Methodist University is an independent four-year institution of higher education with over 2,400 students from 41 states and 53 countries. MU offers over 80 majors and concentrations, 100 clubs and organizations, three master’s degree programs, and 19 NCAA III intercollegiate sports.
Fayetteville Technical Community College is one of 58 institutions in the North Carolina Community College System. FTCC was established in 1961 and serves over 40,000 students annually by providing over 150 occupational, technical, general education, college transfer, and continuing education programs to meet students’ needs and desires as well as the community.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service each year through its core programs, Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. Visit NationalService.gov for more information.