Students Spend MLK Day Serving Communities
DuBois – Penn State DuBois students joined students from five other Penn State campuses on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to volunteer with community service efforts. Each year, the community of one of the campuses is chosen for the MLK Day of service, and students volunteer in that community. This year, the students volunteered with six community organizations in Fayette County, near Penn State Fayette.
Students volunteered in a variety of ways, and with varied organizations. At the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in North Union Township they walked and bathed dogs and gave them treats. They used computers to create activity boards for residents with dementia at Mount Macrina Manor, a North Union Township long-term care facility. At Vincent De Paul Society in Uniontown they sorted through food and clothing donations, helped quilters to provide quilts for children in hospitals and residents at Mount Macrina Manor, and assisted with Hear Fayette, a program that helps people who are hearing impaired. They also cleaned at area assisted living facilitates and at public parking garages.
"There’s nothing like volunteerism. Serving others in need is a beautiful feeling," said Penn State DuBois student Chris Kolp. He said spending Martin Luther King, Jr. Day volunteering helps to keep the civil rights leader's message alive. "Reach out to others; regardless of what race, religion, or sexuality, is attached. We are one."
Penn State DuBois student Patrick Watkavich agreed that the day of service is something that would please King, himself. He said, "Donating my time for a good cause or helping someone out makes me feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives. Dr. Martin Luther King did the same thing, and since we donated our time today, it makes me feel like we have successfully fulfilled his legacy."
Student Life Coordinator Marly Doty took the DuBois students on the service trip, and praised their dedication. "It humbles me to work with such giving students. Ones that are willing to get up and leave campus at 5:30 a.m. on their day off," she said. "Some of them worked outside and really stretched themselves to serve others in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I am grateful to serve with students that are willing to give up their time to help others."
The Penn State campuses participating in the MLK Day of Service were DuBois, Fayette, Beaver, Greater Allegheny, New Kensington and Shenango. In all, 80 students volunteered, with 11 of them from Penn State DuBois. Those Penn State DuBois students who volunteered were Louise Whyte, Tony Harris, Morgan Lingle, Patrick Watkavich, Alina Bumbarger, Izzi Cogan, Lauren Neff, Joe Perpich, Eddie Smith, Chris Albert, and Chris Kolp.