More than 100 Muskingum University students along with faculty and staff honored the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by serving others Jan. 16. As part of a national Day of Service, students spent time organizing area food banks, playing games with residents of an area nursing home and supporting the services of area agencies and non-profit organizations.
“The work we’re doing today helps begin to fulfill Dr. King’s vision,” said Muskingum University Provost Dr. Nancy Evangelista, who kicked off the day’s events on campus discussing the importance of giving back with participants.
“One of the best ways we can honor his legacy is in service to others,” Dr. Evangelista said. “We want to challenge our students to step up and be good stewards of their communities, not just in our little corner of the world but wherever life takes them.”
Student Kayla Wilkerson ’19 visited the Beckett House of New Concord, playing bingo and singing with residents.
“I’m a firm believer in doing things for others in order to make the world a better place. Dr. King is an incredible embodiment of that,” said Wilkerson. “He believed that love was the only way to drive out hate and by doing things for other people, you’re displaying a wonderful act of love.”
For Wilkerson, serving others was also a way of honoring the hard work and dedication of previous generations. Her great-grandmother participated in the March on Washington in August 1963, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his now-iconic “I Have A Dream” speech.
“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for what Dr. King and the other civil rights activists did and what many others are still doing today,” said Wilkerson. “It’s because they laid a foundation that so many others continue to fight for and build upon, that I can come to Muskingum and pursue my dreams.”
The organizations and agencies where students served included:
- In Zanesville, Christ’s Table, United Way of Muskingum, Perry and Morgan Counties, The Stone Academy and Dr. Increase Matthews House, and the Animal Shelter Society;
- In Cambridge, Christ Table, United Way of Guernsey County, and Unity Church;
- In Cumberland: The Wilds;
- In New Concord: Beckett House, College Drive Presbyterian Church, NCAARD, New Concord United Methodist Church, and the Village of New Concord;
- Norwich: Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center