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01/22/2013

MLK Day of Service is a Day of Giving Back for Students

Quick Facts

 Coordinators Jill Wahlbrink and Justine Knudson said there was a big emphasis on education and reflection in this MLK day of service.
 Winthrop students were joined by York Technical and Clinton Junior College students to form a 236-member volunteer force.

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Organizing at Safe Passage
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Winthrop University students contributed their time and talents on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to area agencies and service projects as part of a day of giving back.

They were joined by York Technical and Clinton Junior College students to form a 236-member volunteer force.

On Jan. 21, they gathered at the Richardson Ballroom at the DiGiorgio Campus Center to organize. Before disembarking for the service projects, teams listened to words of wisdom from Angelo Geter `08, a Clinton Junior College employee, who encouraged them to contribute to change.

Coordinators Jill Wahlbrink and Justine Knudson said there was a big emphasis on education and reflection in this MLK day of service.

Here is a rundown, by the numbers:

- The 236 volunteers provided 472 hours of service to 32 projects.
- Students served 81 senior citizens at Green Street Independent Living Facilities, Agape Senior and the Adult Enrichment Center with a “Living History” project. The object was for students to learn what the elderly in the community did when they were in their 20s. The senior participants were left with booklets to document their stories and share with their families.
- Volunteers worked with 185 youth at the Boys and Girls Club at Northside and Fort Mill and at the YMCA in Rock Hill. Activities included: making handprints, posters and bookmarks; sang songs; read books; and played games related to Martin Luther King Day.
- Participants picked up 34 bags of trash as part of Adopt-a-Highway.
- Students created two new plots in a community garden near the campus.
- Volunteers posted 162 flyers about domestic violence, sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS and STDs
- Students sorted items at Pilgrims’ Inn and Safe Passage, painted a mural and cleaned the property at A Place for Hope, painted picnic benches at the Children’s Attention Home and organized clothes, toys and other items at the Tender Hearts Thrift Store.

At their service sites, participants sent photos of their groups in action via cell phones to include in a slideshow that was shown at the end of the day. Check out the slideshow, a Facebook Photo Gallery and a YouTube video.

“Many students expressed interest in continuing to serve at the organization they served,” said Wahlbrink, who works at Winthrop as an AmeriCorps staff member with the Center of Career and Civic Engagement. “After serving, the students did a formal reflection as a team.”

The MLK Day was partially supported by a grant from the Global Learning Initiative. Other sponsors were the Center for Career and Civic Engagement, Office of Multicultural Student Life, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Campus Compact grant, Council of Student Leaders, Resident Student's Association and National Pan-hellenic Council.

For those interested in service opportunities to stop by the Center for Career and Civic Engagement or contact Laura Foster, director of volunteer and community service at fosterl@winthrop.edu.

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