Claflin University is reaching beyond its walls this week to honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Monday, Jan. 20, is the official MLK federal holiday. But Claflin is beginning its commemoration of the civil rights leader’s legacy this week with a series of community service activities for its 2014 MLK Days of Service.
The events kick off with the program “A Drum Major for Justice” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, in Claflin’s Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium. The guest speaker will be civil rights photographer and Claflin alumnus Cecil Williams.
Other activities on this year’s calendar are 60 Seconds of Service, set for Wednesday, Jan. 15. Faculty, staff and students are invited to stop by the Orange and Maroon Room from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to give at least 60 seconds of their time for someone else. It will be followed by bingo with the residents of Laurel Baye Healthcare beginning at 4 p.m.
Claflin will make care packets for patients with Regency Hospice and senior citizens at the Orangeburg County Council on Aging at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16. A hunger and homeless awareness event will be held Thursday evening at 6 in the Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium.
Friday, Jan. 17, students will work to inspire future leaders in the community by participating in activities with the Orangeburg Boys and Girls Club from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Orange and Maroon Room. And on Saturday, Jan. 18, Claflin family members will help keep Orangeburg beautiful by volunteering in a cleanup from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Edisto Memorial Gardens.
On MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 20, the Claflin family will serve local senior citizens by participating in activities at The Oaks beginning at 10:30 a.m. On Tuesday, Jan. 21, a blood drive preparation day will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Orange and Maroon Room. A red cord blood drive with the Regional Medical Center will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in Kleist Circle on the Claflin campus.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is the federal agency that 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.
These projects include delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, signing up mentors, reading to children, promoting nonviolence and more.
The MLK Day of Service shines a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge economic and social divides – today and throughout the year. National Days of Service provide each of us with an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to tackle community challenges and strengthen the nation.
Claflin’s 2014 MLK Days of Service are sponsored by the University’s Division of Student Development and Services Office of Career Development. Students will receive community service hours for all events except the blood drive preparation day. To sign up for MLK Days of Service activities, visit http://vols.pt/x22PSj.
“We are answering Dr. King’s call to serve by working to make a difference in the lives of Orangeburg residents,” said Devin Randolph, Claflin's assistant vice president for student development services. “Volunteer service is a resourceful way to meet local needs and a powerful tool that builds strong communities. We are putting the core American principles of citizenship and service into action.”
For more information about these and other service learning and community service programs at the University, call Jennifer Holliday at 803-535-5466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the MLK Days of Service, visit www.mlkday.gov.
Claflin Saturday Academy MLK Day Food Drive is Monday, Jan. 20
Claflin Saturday Academy, a volunteer tutoring program housed in Claflin University’s School of Education, will observe this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service with an MLK Day Food Drive on Monday, Jan. 20.
For the past five years, the Academy has partnered with local businesses to collect non-perishable food items at their respective sites on MLK Day. On Thursday, Jan. 23, Academy members will volunteer with First Baptist Church of Orangeburg’s Soup Kitchen to serve lunch to people in need. At the completion of the lunch, they will distribute the collected food items to attendees.
Last year, the program collected more than 1,200 non-perishable food items and served more than 125 people in need in Orangeburg.
Claflin Saturday Academy is an AmeriCorps program funded by a grant through the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that promotes Americans to make an impact that changes lives and communities through volunteerism and also leads the annual MLK Day of Service. The purpose of the Academy is to engage volunteers as tutors to improve student achievement in reading and writing at the middle-school level by offering supplemental group instruction and individual tutoring by qualified and trained volunteers. While members are comprised primarily of college-level students, any qualified individual can apply.
The Academy is held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays during the school year at Claflin University. For more information about Claflin Saturday Academy, email Brad Aull at email@example.com.