A group 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. 20. This year, more than 290 students and staff will volunteer throughout Phelps County.
Student groups will work 1-5 p.m. with several different partners in Phelps County. They will then be treated to dinner back at Missouri S&T.
“Our students work to build stronger relationships with the local community and learn about themselves and others on this day,” says Jessica Haywood, student service coordinator in student involvement at Missouri S&T. “Past participants have said 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. We want to make sure our projects are meeting a need in the community and brightening someone’s day.”
Service projects are planned at Camp Brim Shire, The Community Partnership Resale Shop, Greentree Learning Center, Meramec Hills Master Naturalists, Mound Ridge Retreat, Newburg Children’s Museum, Ozark Actors Theater, Ozark Rivers Audubon Nature Center, Rolla Fire and Rescue Department, Rolla Health and Rehab, Rolla Lions Club, The Rolla Mission, Rolla Presbyterian Manor, Russell House and the St. James Senior Citizen Corporation.
On-campus projects include baking cookies for emergency responders; painting encouragement rocks which will be donated to Russell House; creating “Soup-in-a-Jar” kits for G.R.A.C.E. food pantry; filling care packages for cancer patients at Phelps Health; making cards for assisted-living and nursing home residents; and decorating lunch bags for the Rolla Nutrition Site to pack and deliver to local seniors.
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.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is sponsored by the Missouri S&T student involvement department. This year will be S&T’s 12th year to participate.