Martin Luther King Day of Service
The fourth annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service held on Monday, January 16, 2017 was bigger than ever. Nearly 400 volunteers, consisting of Montclair State University students, staff, faculty, and alumni, as well as outside youth groups, Americorps members, families, and community members from New York and New Jersey were in attendance. The day began with a moving speech by our own Dr. Sandra Lewis, Psychology professor and Director of the African American Studies program, followed by a rousing speech by Lawrence Hamm, a civil rights activist and Chairman of the People's Organization for Progress.
After enjoying the speeches and a delicious breakfast, generously provided by Residence Life, volunteers dispursed to one of 3 projects available on campus, or boarded a complementary charter bus to one of 8 off-campus service sites.
Off-campus sites offered diverse causes, including: healthcare access (MedShare), elder care (Waterview Center and Canterbury Village), fire prevention and safety (the Montclair Fire Department), advancement of people with disabilties (Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey), hunger (supermarket can drives), empowerment of people living with HIV and AIDS (Hispanic Multi-Purpose Services Center), and transition from homelessness (Covenant House).
On-campus projects included making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, writing cards for U.S. soldiers overseas, and reorganizing the on-campus Red Hawk Pantry. Volunteers made over 900 sandwiches for local soup kitchens, and wrote personal messages of gratitude and hope for 800 US soldiers overseas.
In the end, MLK Day volunteers served 1,955 hours bettering our campus and the New Jersey area - now that's a huge impact!