VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota’s Center for Academic Engagement (CAE), in collaboration with the USD Students Enhancing Resources for Vermillion Enrichment (SERVE) organization, is challenging the community to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a day on, not a day off.
Thanks to a $2,500 grant from the North Carolina Campus Compact, the CAE and SERVE hope to engage students and community members in a day of community service projects on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, which is Monday, Jan. 19, 2009.
Participants, including students, faculty and staff from USD along with community members, will meet the morning of the holiday to learn more about the life of Dr. King through an information session and from a keynote speaker. After being divided into groups, participants will attempt to complete community service challenges. Challenges range from door-to-door canned food collections to purchasing paint to help community organizations renovate their interior. Money and additional resources will be allotted but, ultimately, teamwork will be required to successfully complete each project. A reception with local entertainment is scheduled to follow at the end of the day’s events. "The MLK Day Challenge is a project new to South Dakota and has raised a great deal of interest from USD students as well as the community," said Bobbi Jo McIntire, a SERVE member on the executive planning committee. "I am overwhelmed with excitement that I have the chance to be a part of something so great that is aimed at uniting so many people to aid their community while raising diversity awareness at the same time."
Part of the grant will be shared with Northern State University and South Dakota State University to engage even more volunteers. The goal is to involve 500 people in community service projects for the day.
CAE and SERVE have teamed up with the USD Office of Institutional Diversity and the Campus Diversity Enhancement Group (CDEG) to plan the big event. Volunteers are needed to help plan the event, for fundraising opportunities and much more. Persons interested in assisting or who know of someone that’s interested in volunteering can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (605) 677-6338. For more information about the event, please visit http://sites.google.com/site/sdmlkday/.