NACOGDOCHES, Texas Despite the challenges of 2020, many community members have stepped up through various acts of service to help their family, friends and neighbors. In order to help better meet the needs of individuals near and far, Stephen F. Austin State University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs is encouraging students to participate in its MLK Day of Service in Nacogdoches or virtually in their local communities.
“Due to social distancing regulations, we want to provide virtual students with a way to still participate in this important day,” said Star Jackson, OMA student ambassador. “Even though we can’t all be together, it is heartwarming to know Lumberjacks all over will be serving their community in a special way.”
Locally, OMA has partnered with 16 different agencies to complete projects, including SFA’s The Pantry and Appleby Community Farm, Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful, Nacogdoches Master Gardener’s Demonstration Garden and Millard’s Crossing Historic Village. Students also will complete projects for individual Nacogdoches residents.
The annual event will take place Jan. 18, 2021. Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. Dr. Kofi Smith, president and CEO of Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company, will deliver the keynote speech at 9 a.m. Students who participate in the MLK Day of Service in Nacogdoches will receive a free lunch, and T-shirts will be provided to all volunteers who complete their assigned projects.
Nacogdoches community members are encouraged to submit project proposals by Jan. 8. Past projects have included painting, landscaping and cleaning. Projects will be assigned to students on the day of the event.
The OMA also is inviting SFA faculty and staff and Nacogdoches community members to serve as site mentors who will work alongside students to complete projects. Site mentors are encouraged to share leadership advice and help educate students about the community. They can sign up to volunteer through Jan. 7 online at sfasu.edu/oma.
MLK Day of Service was initiated to honor the acts of service by the late civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1994, MLK Day was designated as 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.
“This day is not a day of selfishness, but of selflessness,” Jackson said. “There is truly an opportunity for every member of the community to be involved.”