On Monday, January 18, 2010, volunteers from Cameron University and the Lawton-Fort Sill community will celebrate "a day on, not a day off" in service to the community as part of the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. From 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., volunteers will work on various projects throughout the Lawton-Fort Sill community. CU officials are hoping to recruit 250 volunteers for the event and various service projects throughout the community. To volunteer, register online by Monday, January 4 at http://www.cameron.edu/mlkcelebration/dayofservice or call the Office of Student Services at (580) 581-2244.
"The volunteer spirit that exists in the Lawton-Fort Sill area is the primary factor that resulted in the success of our 2009 project at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club," says Jennifer Holland, CU Dean of Student Services. "We had hoped for 100 volunteers, and we ended up with nearly 300. For our 2010 Day of Service project, we can once again count on the selfless efforts of this community as we all work together to improve the quality of life throughout the region."
This year, teams will return to the Boys and Girls Club for spring cleaning, painting and small repairs. Teams will also provide needed repairs and renovations at the City of Lawton's H.C. King Center and the Lawton Food Bank.
"We are excited about these and other projects and look forward to the Day of Service," Holland says.
Initiated by Congress in 1994, the King Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and teachings into community service that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, such as fixing up a school or senior center, or it may meet a need of the spirit, such as building a sense of community or mutual responsibility. On this day, Americans of every age and background celebrate Dr. King through service projects that:
- Strengthen Communities
Dr. King recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals. Through his words and example, Dr. King challenged individuals to take action and lift up their neighbors and communities through service.
- Empower Individuals
Dr. King believed each individual possessed the power to lift himself or herself up no matter what his or her circumstances. Whether teaching literacy skills, helping an older adult surf the Web, or helping an individual build the skills needed to acquire a job, acts of service can help others improve their own lives while doing so much for those who serve, as well.
- Bridge Barriers
In his fight for civil rights, Dr. King inspired Americans to think beyond themselves, look past differences and work toward equality. Serving side by side, community service bridges barriers between people and teaches us that in the end, we are more alike than we are different.
In 2009, Americans in all 50 states participated in more than 13,000 service projects by delivering meals, refurbishing schools, reading to children, signing up mentors, planting trees, and more. The number of individuals who volunteered last year was estimated to surpass one million.
For more information on the Martin Luther King Day of Service, go to www.mlkday.gov.
December 15, 2009