Marshall community to honor MLK Jr. through community service

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Marshall University will host a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Friday, Jan. 25., with an 8 a.m. breakfast to kick-off the event, followed by volunteer hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The MLK Day of Service, the only federal holiday observed as a day of service, has been celebrated in the United States since 1994, when it was added to the Martin Luther King Day of Observance.

Marshall’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will include guest speakers who will speak on why community service is important for both students and the community, Will Holland, Marshall’s director of community outreach and volunteer services, said. Afterwards, vans will transport volunteers from Marshall to volunteer sites in the Huntington area, he said.

Some of the projects students will be involved in include helping out at Huntington Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter, reading to children at Ebenezer Community Outreach, building a house with Habitat for Humanity and serving a meal at the Huntington City Mission, Holland said.

“This is an important staple, not only at Marshall, but everywhere, because we honor Martin Luther King’s dedication to equal rights by helping the community,” Kait McClure, a junior criminal justice major, said.

McClure said a day of service is vital in preserving King’s message, because Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy lives on through students as they give back to the community. She also said that community service plays a large role in the growth of the community, as it “gives the youth people to look up to,” and that students should take pride in “lending a helping hand.”

“It’s the ones who continue to fight and do what we believe is right and continue to grow and stick to our beliefs that change the world,” Kat Gilson, a freshman secondary education and english major, said.

Gilson said that by giving back to the community, people are not only continuing to make King’s dream a reality, but are overcoming adversity in a positive way.

Though Marshall University is hosting its MLK Day of Service on Friday, Jan. 25, rather than the third Monday in January, the federal observance of King’s birthday and official MLK Day of Service, the event is still set to honor King’s vision.

Students who are interested in volunteering can sign up on Herdlink for events, contact Holland at [email protected] or visit his office in The LEAD Center.

Makaylah Wheeler can be contacted at [email protected]

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