More than 400 Radford University students, faculty and staff have signed up to participate in the seventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 20.
One of the University’s signature volunteer events, the MLK Jr. Day of Service sends members of the Radford family to locations throughout the New River and Roanoke valleys for the entire day to serve community members, businesses, nonprofits and other organizations. With their philanthropic actions, volunteers honor the late Martin Luther King Jr. and his spirit of service.
In speaking of the day of service, Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill said, “I look forward to joining with Radford University’s talented students, world-class faculty, dedicated staff and caring community for this annual event. It is a special time in which the true Highlander spirit and our deep-rooted service mission are evident to all. It is a dedicated time for the Radford family to give back to a community that has provided continuous support to our critical mission of teaching, research and service since our founding more than a century ago.”
Some of the volunteer sites this year will be the Radford Early Learning Center, Feeding America Southwest Virginia, Beans and Rice Food Distribution, Walmart locations in Christiansburg and Fairlawn, Pulaski Daily Bread and Commonwealth Senior Living.
On campus, individuals will participate in activities benefiting the community, such as making blankets for Project Linus, knitting scarves and packing busy kits for those in senior care.
Participation requires students to return to campus a day early, as spring semester classes begin January 21, a small sacrifice compared to the significant impact the volunteer efforts have on the surrounding community.
At Radford University, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a “day on, not a day off,” said La Shan Lovelace, director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
“Each year, members of the Radford family are eager to serve the community during the MLK Jr. Day of Service,” Lovelace said. “Their level of commitment and dedication continues to thrive this year as close to 450 volunteers have already signed up to participate. I am proud of our Highlanders and excited to see them in action serving others.”
Following the service event, a social gathering will be held for volunteers at Radford University’s Hurlburt Student Center with music, games and food from 5 to 7 p.m. The MLK Service Award will be presented at the gathering. The award, now in its second year, recognizes a student volunteer who exemplifies the spirit of giving and service.
By Mary Hardbarger