By Julia Quanrud
In just a few days, Minnesota Campus Compact and seven of its member institutions will kick off a series of service projects to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter), Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Coon Rapids), Concordia University (St. Paul), Lake Superior College (Duluth), North Hennepin Community College (Minneapolis), Normandale Community College (Bloomington), and Saint Mary’s University (Winona) were all awarded a micro-grant from Minnesota Campus Compact to support student-led service projects that honor the life and work of Dr. King.
The first service project will launch on Thursday, January 14th, when students from Normandale Community College host a youth carnival for children at Ginew Golden Eagles, a program that helps American Indian youth make positive decisions through life skill training. The following day, Normandale students will head to Richfield with students and teachers from Richfield Middle School where they will help ARC Value Village set up for its MLK Day Sale. At the completion of their project, the volunteers will all have lunch together and reflect on their service activity. On the official MLK Day Holiday (1/18/10), Normandale students, led by a group of Citizen-Scholar Fellows students, will also sort gifts for the Make a Wish Foundation and organize and convert space for the Ginew Golden Eagles.
Students from the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity at Gustavus Adolphus College will also be hosting a service event on the MLK Holiday. Together with community members, students will host activities and read stories that reflect the life and work of Dr. King to local elementary school students. Lake Superior College in Duluth also intends to work with local school children on MLK Day, facilitating activities and projects that commemorate Dr. King’s Life such as reflection, poetry, and collages.
After a city-wide celebration of Dr. King on the 18th, students at Concordia University in St. Paul will be challenged on the 19th to complete service projects at various St. Paul community organizations. Meanwhile, over in Minneapolis, students from North Hennepin Community College will be reading and acting out stories for patients at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, while volunteers also help the children to create their own story books.
The North Hennepin Students and students from Anoka-Ramsey Community College will help pack meals for malnourished children across the globe at Feed My Starving Children on the 21st and 28th, respectively. Students from Anoka-Ramsey will also be invited to reflect on their experiences and the life of Dr. King in a post-service presentation and reflection session.
The service activities will conclude with a month-long project in Winona, hosted by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Working together with New Beginnings in Church, students from Saint Mary’s will help complete construction on a home for recently-released inmates. Combining secure housing with social services, the facility promises to provide inmates with a chance to reenter society successfully.
In total, these seven campuses have organized eleven projects in seven cities spanning 46 days. Together, they are working together towards mobilizing at least 500 volunteers across the state. To learn how you can join the movement, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit serve.gov.