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MLK Day of Service January 2011
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LWC Community Celebrates King's Legacy with Day of Service

Posted on Monday, January 17, 2011 [9:30 PM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson College student Elizabeth Goode didn't want to pass up an opportunity to serve others -- even if it meant missing an opportunity to sleep in.

LWC's spring semester does not begin until Wednesday and the college's offices were closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But for Goode and several of her colleagues, the federal holiday meant getting up early to enjoy a day of service.

Goode was joined by a group of LWC students, faculty, staff and area high school students who celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the college's A.P. White Campus. The day was sponsored by the LWC Bonner Leaders Program, and it was part of the nationwide Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, a partnership between businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

The LWC group decorated t-shirts to help sexually abused children, wrote letters to U.S. military personnel, made Valentine's Day cards for residents of an area nursing home and delivered food to an area food bank.

"Why would you sleep in when you can help someone else?" Good asked. "Plus we're showing prospective students that we get out of bed to help students, so they should, too."

For the past five years, members of the LWC Bonner Leaders Program have been out of town on service trip during Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Because this year's service trip won't take place until later in the spring, the program's co-director wanted to celebrate it with a day of service in Adair County.

"We wanted to do something on MLK Day of Service for our local youth -- getting them acclimated to service and introducing them to what service is about at the higher-education level," said  Amy Thompson-Wells, LWC director of civic engagement, director of student leadership and co-director of the Bonner Leader Program.

The LWC group decorated two dozen t-shirts for the Children's Advocacy Center in Jamestown, Ky. The t-shirts are given to alleged victims of sexual abuse when they are examined. They also wrote 100 letters for the AMillionThanks.org campaign, which sends thank-you letters to U.S. military personnel; they made 100 Valentine's Day cards for residents of Summit Manor Nursing Home in Columbia; and they delivered food to the Adair County Food Pantry. (Click here to see pictures from the day.)

"We wanted to do service projects where we could advocate for social justice and community-building," Thompson-Wells said.

One of the area high school students who took advantage of the invitation to join the LWC students was Nicole Pierce of Somerset, a senior at Pulaski County High School. Peirce was joined by her mother, Calista.

"I love to do service projects," Nicole said. "I love the look on other people's faces when you do something for them without expecting something in return."

LWC Bonner Leader Lydia Tiller of Columbia said being involved with the community-service projects gave her "the warm and fuzzy feeling of helping others," but the day also had deeper significance for what it said about her generation.

"We are often said to be the 'Me Generation,' instead it can be the 'We' and the 'Us (Generation),'" she said.

More ...
Scenes from the day. 

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