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College offers a chance to serve the community

Photo courtesy of Marietta College Students and staff of Marietta College build boxes of donations for GoPacks at last year's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

On Monday, educators and students are being called to take a “day on, not a day off” for the national holiday.

As part of the initiative, Marietta College will be hosting a service day next week for both students and community members to impact local nonprofits through various labor and outreach projects.

“As a black woman, it means something to me to see people take intentional time to serve because I remember when there wasn’t a holiday,” said Monica Jones, chief diversity officer and associate dean of students at Marietta College. “It’s not just a day off from school. It’s a day to reflect on the message of Dr. King and ask ourselves, ‘how can I still be of service tomorrow?’ That’s what Martin Luther King would have asked. What are you doing for your fellow man?”

As of Monday afternoon, there were 10 community members not affiliated with the college who had signed up.

“We’d love more,” said Katie Evans, coordinator of community-based learning. “And we’ll have two programs, both one at the free breakfast and smaller lunch-and-learn workshops you can come to with our faculty.”

Local organizations receiving the concerted volunteer push Monday include:

• Betsey Mills Club.

• Boys and Girls Club of Washington County.

• EVE, Inc.

• Gospel Mission Food Pantry.

• GoPacks.

• Habitat for Humanity.

• Humane Society of the Ohio Valley.

• Marietta Area Community Food Pantry.

• Marietta Main Street.

• Marietta Toy and Doll Museum.

• Peoples Bank Theatre.

• The Trading Post Thrift Store (benefiting the Ohio Wilderness Boys Camp).

Diane Pfile, a volunteer of the toy and doll museum, said she’s excited to bring both student volunteers and neighborhood volunteers together for the day of service.

“Anytime we get concentrated manpower–you know we’re not a young group here at the museum–bringing that community together both for our neighbors and with the college is positive,” said Pfile, who is also a retired Harmar Elementary teacher. “Martin Luther King’s whole philosophy was in not just standing by and expecting something to be done for you, but in standing up and giving of yourself to create that ripple effect.”

At the museum, needs include yard work and shoring up the back porch and front walkway for upcoming spring projects and inside, cleaning the windows in preparation for new coverings.

At Peoples Bank Theatre, the goal is to showcase the diversity of shows coming to the stage this year through downtown outreach.

“We really need help getting the word out about our many events, including kids’ shows like the dinosaurs show and things like Aoife Scott, who’s coming all the way from Ireland,” said marketing director Gina Mace. “Really showcasing how diverse our shows are and that there’s literally something for everyone.”

Both organizations are still open for volunteer registration through Wednesday.

“Then if you’re showing up to volunteer day-of, we’re more likely to put you to work on campus helping pack boxes for GoPacks or for letter writing or packing care packages for the community food pantry or for EVE,” said Evans. “You can also just come for the free meals and programs, too. In the morning, we’ll be talking more about the reasons behind Martin Luther King’s day, what he said when he visited campus in 1967. And in the afternoon, we’ll break out into workshops like Ben and Raven Cromwell’s discussion about utilizing diverse representation in children’s literature.”

To register for the day of service visit: https://mcdonough.wufoo.com/forms/mlk-day-2020-stand-up-and-speak-up-for-justice/.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

How to register:

• Community members are encouraged to participate.

• Register by Wednesday to get a T-shirt.

• Register online at https://mcdonough.wufoo.com/forms/mlk-day-2020-stand-up-and-speak-up-for-justice/.

Source: Marietta College.

Schedule of events:

• 8 a.m.-Registration and check-in.

• 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast and program.

• 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Service projects.

• 12:30- 2 p.m. Lunch and learns.

Source: Marietta College.

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