Stephen F. Austin State University

News

SFA plans MLK Day of Service

January 4, 2011 - Office of Public Affairs

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University offices of Leadership and Service and Multicultural Affairs will hold the second annual MLK Day of Service beginning at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17, in the Twilight Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

The theme of the event will be "What's Your Legacy?" and service projects will center on helping local nursing homes and senior centers. About 150 student volunteers are needed to help host events and interact with nursing home residents, and participants will receive a free lunch and event T-shirt.

For the past two years, SFA has received a grant from the North Carolina Campus Compact and Corporation for National and Community Service to implement the MLK Day of Service on campus, according to Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service. Numerous other colleges across the nation participate in the annual event.

The first MLK Day of Service at SFA in 2010 focused on helping Nacogdoches schools prepare for the new semester. This included painting benches, creating leadership-themed art projects and revitalizing landscaping.

"It's exciting that SFA students can be part of such a widespread movement to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through giving back to their community," Bouldin said. "This year's projects will be very interactive, so students really have a chance to talk to the residents and learn about their lives."

Bouldin said she hopes students will also pause to think about their own personal legacies, including the impact they will have at SFA and what they will leave behind after graduation.

Participating students will be assigned to teams as they arrive at the Twilight Ballroom. Groups will be chosen randomly to give students the opportunity to work with people with whom they don't regularly interact. Spots will be assigned on a first come-first served basis, so Bouldin suggests arriving as close to 11 a.m. as possible to secure a spot.

"We can't send out more students than are needed to the nursing homes and senior center - we do not want to overwhelm the residents or staff at these facilities," Bouldin said. "We want to accommodate everyone who wants to participate, but once the spots are full, they're full."

Congress passed legislation in 1983 to commemorate the life of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. In 1994, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which falls on the third Monday of January, was named a national day of service and is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

"We are so excited that students have the chance to make a difference in the community through the MLK Day of Service," Bouldin said. "We hope this event continues to grow and benefit the community in many ways."

For more information, contact Bouldin at (936) 468-1088 or jfbouldin@sfasu.edu.