For the eighth consecutive year, Walsh volunteers commemorated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with service activities throughout Stark County on Monday, January 15. As Stark County’s collegiate leader in service, more than 300 volunteers, including students, athletic teams, faculty and staff members, partnered with approximately 20 community organizations to address topics that ranged from education, homelessness, hunger, veteran widows and care for the elderly.
"Our hope is that the MLK Day of Service is just the beginning for our students," said Walsh Director of Service Learning Abigail Poeske. "For some, MLK Day is an introduction into service. As they develop their skills and find their passions, we'd like to see our students explore how they can make a real, sustained positive impact on, from, and in the Stark County community."
The MLK Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and teachings into community service that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, such as fixing up a school or senior center, or it may meet a need of the spirit, such as building a sense of community or mutual responsibility.
Organized by committee representatives from Walsh’s Office of Service Learning, Multicultural Affairs, Campus Ministry and Walsh Athletics, sites will include the Pro Football Hall of Fame with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the North Canton YMCA, Louisville YMCA and the Massillon Boys & Girls Club. Volunteers cleaned and organized classrooms at Our Lady of Peace Elementary School while several groups of volunteers visited Stark County assisted living facilities to organize activities and provide services for residents. New sites this year included The Valentine Project in Alliance where volunteers sorted and organized donated items and Lake Township FISH food pantry.
Volunteers returned to Walsh for dinner and service reflection. Led by Walsh Director of Multicultural Affairs Terry Echols, Ed.D., volunteers reflected on how their service related to the work of Martin Luther King Jr.