Record number of volunteers expected to participate in MLK Jr. Day service activities
More than 400 members of the Radford family have signed up to participate in the university’s sixth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Although the university is closed on Jan. 21 in recognition of the national holiday and spring semester classes don’t start until Jan. 22, many students, faculty and staff will return to campus early to serve others, said Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) Director La Shan Lovelace.
“Our Day of Service is a great way for the Radford University community to come together and help those around us,” said Lovelace. “It’s a day on, not a day off.”
Volunteers will lend a hand at several locations throughout the New River and Roanoke valleys, including the Radford Early Learning Center, the Radford City Public Library and Feeding America Southwest Virginia in Salem. They will work in morning and afternoon shifts that run from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.
In years past, volunteers have prepared and served lunch to local families and individuals, sorted and organized clothing and food donations, assisted with repairs at area churches and businesses and crafted homemade rugs for sheltered animals.
This year’s expected participation of 420 volunteers is an MLK Jr. Day of Service record, Lovelace said, citing a 20 percent increase from the 2018 service event.
“It has been exciting and inspirational to see increased participation each year,” he said.
Following the Day of Service activities, the annual MLK Commemorative Program will be held that evening in the Bondurant Auditorium at 7 p.m. The keynote speaker is Marc Lamont Hill, an American academic, journalist, author, activist and television personality. He is also a professor of Media Studies and Urban Education at Temple University.
During the program, the winner of this year’s first-ever MLK Day of Service Award will be announced. The award will be given to one full-time Radford University student who: is in good academic and conduct standing; registered for the Day of Service by Nov. 30; participated in the MLK Jr. Day of Service; and attends the commemorative program.
The student organization that had the most volunteers participate in the Day of Service will also be recognized during the program. The winning organization will be awarded a pizza party, hosted by CDI.
If you would like to make a donation to support the MLK Day of Service Award, visit www.radford.edu/MLKaward.