Mobilizing the volunteer spirit of its campus community, Northeastern State University’s participation in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service drew more than 400 students, faculty and staff for work projects at local schools.
The Jan. 16 observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day meant classes were closed. However, NSU encouraged its students and employees at the Tahlequah, Broken Arrow and Muskogee campuses to use the day in service to others.
“This was yet another record year for participation in the Day of Service,” said Kathleen Kennedy, director of campus involvement. “We had a lot of last-minute signups. People checked in, got their T-shirts and job assignments and went out and did the service. We offered transportation, but most volunteers drove themselves. We also offered pizza for those who were available for lunch.”
NSU volunteers in Tahlequah visited Sequoyah, Greenwood and Cherokee elementary schools and Tahlequah Middle School. Volunteers from NSU-Broken Arrow volunteered at Leisure Park Elementary School. The schools suggested numerous tasks including laminating, classroom cleanup, making scrapbooks, creating starter baskets and sanitizing.
Kennedy said the Day of Service normally brings some apprehension whether all projects requested by the schools can be completed by the volunteers. As with last year’s event, the organizers didn’t need to worry.
“I think we need to look at the possibility of including more sites,” Kennedy said. “Our turnout was so tremendous that some of our groups were done before noon. Every project asked by the schools was done in record time so we might want to branch out next year.”
The annual volunteer effort is a collaboration between the American Democracy Project at NSU and the Division of Student Affairs.
NSU also participated in the annual Martin Luther King Commemorative Parade and Rally in Tulsa. The Northeastern contingent included the Spirit Squads and the Sassy Hawks dance team.
“I think the Day of Service committee members at Tahlequah and Broken Arrow worked hard to make this a positive experience for the school districts and for our volunteers,” Kennedy said. “What NSU does on Martin Luther King Day is a great service for the community.”
Published: 1/26/2012 8:45:24 AM