Courtyard Chatter: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brookhaven Volunteers Accept MLK 2014 Challenge to Serve Community

Brookhaven Volunteers Accept MLK 2014 Challenge to Serve Community

Inspired to make MLK Day “a day on, and not a day off,” more than 100 Brookhaven students and staff members pre-registered to donate their time and resources to serve the community. The MLK Day of Service on Jan. 20 was hosted by the Office for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. The event was designed to bring together volunteers from across the college and community.

The volunteers were divided into seven groups and the projects were kept secret from participants until the day of the event. Each challenge had a component that the group had to figure out in order to accomplish the project.

“This encourages team work, collaboration and critical thinking to create solutions to the challenges,” said Andrew Deibert, program services coordinator of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement.

  • group one: Family Place Resale Store – sort and organize donations
  • group two: Family Place Safe Campus – general upkeep projects
  • group three: Farmers Branch Animal Adoption Center – deep cleaning of the kennels and socialization of the animals up for adoption
  • group four: CitySquare – gathering a “Welcome Home” basket that includes household items to help the chronically homeless become self-sufficient as they begin living in their own home
  • group five: CitySquare – making fleece blankets for kids whose families are struggling with poverty
  • group six: Lindan Park – throwing a MLK Day birthday party for the senior residents
  • group seven: Rainbow Days – collecting nutritious snack items for kids who reside in homeless shelters. The snacks will be given to kids who attend a Rainbow Days summer camp as they learn the message of hope for a promising future.

The MLK Challenge Day was selected as the college’s Innovation of the Year. Deibert accepted the award at the Emerald Awards on Jan 16.

“I feel this provides an opportunity for student leaders to plan an event, a place for participants to realize their need to be civically engaged and a way for community agencies to build capacity,” Deibert said.

Brookhaven College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Semester of Service events are supported with funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, administered by Campus Compact whose mission is to educate students for civic and social responsibility.