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01/25/2015

MLK Day of Service Benefits Students and Service Sites

Quick Facts

 Winthrop students were joined by York Technical and Clinton College students to form a 229-member volunteer force. They provided 458 hours of service at 22 service sites, benefitting 200 children and 175 adults.
 Before disembarking for the service projects, teams listened to inspirational words from Winthrop alumna DeAlva Wilson Glenn ’92, ‘94, who founded D. Wilson Agency in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Boyd Hill Baptist Church Reading Tent

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Dozens of Winthrop University students spent a day on rather than a day off on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in order to work on service projects for area agencies.

They were joined by York Technical and Clinton College students to form a 229-member volunteer force. They provided 458 hours of service at 22 service sites and helped 200 children and 175 adults.

During the Jan. 19 Day of Service, participants gathered at the Richardson Ballroom at the DiGiorgio Campus Center to organize. Students were divided into 22 groups and given assignments in teams of six people, most of whom they did not know.

Before disembarking for the service projects, teams listened to inspirational words from Winthrop alumna DeAlva Wilson Glenn ’92, ‘94, who founded D. Wilson Agency in Charlotte, North Carolina. “To keep Martin Luther King’s dream alive, serve others,” she told the students, adding that they should live in the moment, live with purpose and go deeper into causes.

After working for a couple of hours at a site, participants returned for lunch and a chance to share their experiences. They also took a pledge to stay connected to their community, to remember that MLK Day is one day in a lifetime of service, to think critically about community needs and issues, and to take action for social justice.

Here are the projects they worked on:

- Environmental Stewardship with Anne Close Springs Greenway, Clean and Green, and the Rock Hill community garden. Work included litter pickup, trail maintenance and gardening.
- Food Access with Palmetto Pregnancy Center and Pilgrims’ Inn. Work included organizing and creating inventory for food pantries.
- Serving Individuals with Disabilities at the Adult Enrichment Center. Work included making collages with residents, playing games and interacting with residents to create “Living History” booklets.
- Interacting with senior citizens at Agape Assisted Living, Westminster Towers, Green Street Independent Living and Crossroads at Catawba. Work included playing games with residents, creating “Living History” booklets, and general interaction and visiting.
- Educational activities with children at Boys and Girls Club Northside, Upper Palmetto YMCA, and Thomas Gymnastics. Work included interactive MLK Day-themed games and creating “I Have A Dream” mobiles.
- Cleaning local homeless shelter and warming center for underprivileged citizens at Salvation Army.
- Organizing donations for the homeless and domestic abuse survivors at Tender Hearts Thrift Store, Safe Passage, The Dream Center, and the Men’s Warming Center at Bethel United Methodist. Work included organizing and labeling clothing as well as creating an inventory of stock.
- Increasing literacy skills in elementary-aged kids at the Boyd Hill Baptist Church Reading Tent. Work included reading one-on-one to a child, giving every child a free book and creating “I Have A Dream” mobiles.
- Cleaning wheelchairs for assisted living residents at Magnolia Manor.
- Decorating four rooms for underprivileged kids at Children’s Attention Home. Work included creating posters with inspirational quotes, hanging decorations, and making no-sew blankets for kids.

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 Facebook Photo Gallery, YouTube video and Storehouse story.

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

For those interested in service opportunities, 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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