Photo gallery: MCC students, employees give of themselves on MLK Day of Service

Dozens of MCC students and employees from every campus gave up part of Martin Luther King Day to serve their communities.

As we reported in advance of the event, the campuses planned volunteer opportunities at nonprofit agencies around town Monday as well as at school.

Here’s a look at the day in photos. Our thanks to everyone who volunteered that day, and thanks as well to everyone who took pictures, including MCC videographer/photographer Matt Scharhag (Great Plains SPCA and Hillcrest Thrift Shop).

(Also, for employees who RSVP’d for the second annual Chancellor’s MLK Scholarship Luncheon, a reminder that it is this Friday, Jan. 22, in the MCC-Penn Valley Education Center, starting at 11:30 a.m.)

MCC-Blue River

About 30 volunteers worked at four locations. One of those was Great Plains SPCA’s shelter in Independence.

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That’s Blue River president Dr. Michael Banks helping out at the animal shelter, by the way. Blue River’s student volunteers included soccer players.

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Craig Adams and Beth Shelton, representing the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at Blue River, worked at the ReStore in Blue Springs.
Craig Adams and Beth Shelton, representing the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at Blue River, worked at the ReStore in Blue Springs.

Also, a group of MCC retirees, many from Blue River, got together for a sixth year to make fleece lap blankets for patients at Children’s Mercy. The Kansas City Star wrote about that tradition. Here’s how the article by Glenn E. Rice starts:

Several years ago, Leah Shelton found a unique way to answer the call to service on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Rather than pick up a paintbrush to help refurbish an area shelter or sort items at a thrift store, the former college counselor instead will reach for some bundles of fabric.

On Monday, Shelton will join about 25 other retired and current faculty and staff members from Metropolitan Community College at her house in Independence to munch on coffee cake, sip cups of coffee and tea, and make fleece lap blankets for children and babies at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

“Service was important to Martin Luther King Jr., and it is just a way to honor that tradition,” said Shelton, who worked with students with disabilities at the Blue River campus.

And here are pictures from this year’s blanket-making party.

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The group produced 36 blankets this year, which they think may be a single-day record for them.
The group produced 36 blankets this year, which they think may be a single-day record for them.

MCC-Business & Technology

Business & Technology students and employees volunteered at the Harvesters food bank.



The Longview campus dispatched 115 volunteers to a number of locations.


Fox 4 reporter Matt Stewart did three live shots for the station’s morning show Monday, starting on the MCC-Longview campus and then following one group of volunteers to KC Pet Project.

MCC-Maple Woods

At Maple Woods, 111 students, staff and faculty worked at seven off-site locations. Some volunteers stayed on campus to make valentines for veterans and color pages for Children’s Mercy patients.


One group of Maple Woods students became thrift store workers for a few hours at the Hillcrest Thrift Shop on Prairie View Road in Platte County.

“Volunteers allow Hillcrest Platte County to have a significant impact on the lives of the working homeless in our community,” said Donice Mahan, the agency’s director. “Staff alone cannot meet all the needs of the community we serve.” MLK MW hillcrest mattMLK MW hillcrest2x mattMLK MW hillcrest3 mattMLK MW hillcrest4 mattMLK MW hillcrest5 mattMLK MW hillcrest6 matt

Maple Woods baseball players volunteered at Hillcrest Hope in the Northland, which The Star included in a roundup of MLK Day of Service events. Here’s a snippet:

Sara Stuart was expecting maybe 10 volunteers on Monday to help clean and repair apartments at the Hillcrest Hope transitional housing building in Avondale, a small Northland community. Instead, she got 17 members of the Metropolitan Community College Maple Woods baseball team.

“It’s been great having these baseball boys,” said Stuart, a case manager at the charitable program for homeless families.

Read the full story here:

MCC-Penn Valley

Penn Valley’s 25 or so volunteers split up: Some worked at Unleashed Pet Rescue; others worked on projects on campus, such as making supply packs for schoolchildren.