Martin Luther King Day – Monday, Jan. 18 – is a national holiday, but organizers of the MLK Day of Service would like you to think of it as “A Day On, Not a Day Off.”
Across MCC’s five campuses, about 500 students, faculty, staff members and administrators are expected to volunteer their time – cleaning, painting, general maintenance and more – at a variety of agencies around town and on campus.
Meanwhile, for the sixth year, a group of 20-25 retirees (mostly from MCC-Blue River, plus a few current employees) will get together to make fleece lap blankets for kids and babies at Children’s Mercy Hospital. They’re expecting to produce 30-35 blankets this year, which should put their total at more than 200 blankets. They’ll meet at Leah Shelton’s home in Independence. Shelton and Barbara Schaefer started this project.
In Lee’s Summit, MCC-Longview president Dr. Kirk Nooks will be the keynote speaker at the city’s community-wide Martin Luther King celebration Jan. 18 at the Pavilion at John Knox Village. The pre-show starts at 5:30 p.m.
And at MCC, don’t forget about the second annual Chancellor’s MLK Scholarship Luncheon, at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22. (It’s for employees only; RSVP by emailing Robert Page by Friday, Jan. 8.) The event, at the MCC-Penn Valley Education Center, will feature Dillard University president Dr. Walter Kimbrough as the keynote speaker.
To learn more about the MLK Day of Service at MCC, visit mcckc.edu/mlk. Click the “volunteer registration” tab to see what each campus is doing and to sign up.
Here’s a sampler of some of the agencies that will benefit from the volunteerism of the MCC family:
+ MCC-Blue River volunteers will head to Great Plains SPCA in Independence, Rainbow Center in Blue Springs, Hillcrest Transitional Housing in Independence and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Independence.
+ MCC-Business & Technology students and employees will volunteer time at Harvesters food bank in Kansas City and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Deramus.
+ MCC-Longview volunteers will work at Coldwater Food Pantry in Lee’s Summit, Community Services League in Independence, Crittenton Center in Kansas City, Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Blue Springs, Harvesters in Kansas City, Hope House in Lee’s Summit, John Knox Village Care Center in Lee’s Summit, KC Pet Project, Langsford Boys Home in Lee’s Summit, Longview Cards for Vets (on campus) and Raytown Emergency Assistance Program (REAP).
+ Many of the volunteer students from MCC-Maple Woods are athletes from the baseball, softball and soccer (men’s and women’s) teams. Volunteers will work at Synergy Women’s Center, Synergy Services Resiliency Center, Hillcrest Thrift Shop in Parkville, Hillcrest Transitional Housing in Platte County, Heritage Village, Hillcrest Hope Transitional Housing in Avondale and Hillcrest Hope Thrift Store in Liberty. On-campus projects will include creating valentines for veterans and coloring pages to send to patients at Children’s Mercy.
+Some MCC-Penn Valley volunteers will work on projects on campus, including doing some campus clean-up, making supply packs for schoolchildren, and writing letters to overseas troops. Others will work at Unleashed Pet Rescue in Mission.
More about the MLK Day of Service
What is the MLK Day of Service?
After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 to mark the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a federal holiday. Americans first observed the holiday in 1986. In 1994, Congress designated the holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) with leading this effort.
Taking place each third Monday in January, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” This day of service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, addresses social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
Why serve on MLK Day?
Dr. King recognized the power of service. He famously said, “Everyone can be great because everybody can serve.” Observing the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday through service is a way to begin each year with a commitment to making your community a better place. Your service honors Dr. King’s life and teachings and helps meet national challenges.
Service also brings people together of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. The MLK Day of Service encourages all types of service, particularly projects that have a lasting impact and connect participants to ongoing service. The most successful projects connect to the life and teaching of Dr. King, meet a pressing community need, and include time to reflect on his teachings.
Learn more at MLKDay.gov.