On January 19, volunteers from Cameron University will celebrate "a day on, not a day off" in service to the community at the Boys and Girls Club, 1315 SW F Avenue in Lawton. More than 100 volunteers, comprised of CU students, faculty, staff and members of the community, will participate as part of the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. From 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., volunteers will provide needed maintenance, repair, upkeep and cleanup efforts at the facility, including revitalization of the Club's Homework Room, Fitness Room, Game Room and Art Room and creation of a Teen Room for the facility.
"Dr. Martin Luther King dedicated his life to helping Americans of all backgrounds achieve equality of treatment, opportunity and responsibility. He encouraged citizens to contribute to their communities by uniting and taking action," says Jennifer Holland, CU Dean of Student Services. "As he once said, ‘Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.' Here at Cameron, we're doing our part to keep his dream alive. We welcome anyone who wants to volunteer. We ask only that volunteers register in advance so we know how many people to plan for."
To volunteer, call CU's Office of Students Services at 580-581-2244 or register online at http://www.cameron.edu/mlkcelebration/dayofservice.
CU received a $1,000 grant in support of the project from the MLK Challenge 2009, funded by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the North Carolina Campus Compact. Grants were awarded to 126 institutions in 28 states; Cameron is one of only two institutions in Oklahoma to receive a grant.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital figure of the modern era. During his lifetime, he worked tirelessly toward a dream of equality. His lectures and dialogues stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation. The movements and marches he led brought significant changes in the fabric of American life through his courage and selfless devotion. His charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, in this nation and around the world.
Initiated by Congress in 1994, the King 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. On this day, Americans of every age and background celebrate Dr. King through service projects that:
- Strengthen Communities
Dr. King recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals. Through his words and example, Dr. King challenged individuals to take action and lift up their neighbors and communities through service.
- Empower Individuals
Dr. King believed each individual possessed the power to lift himself or herself up no matter what his or her circumstances. Whether teaching literacy skills, helping an older adult surf the Web, or helping an individual build the skills needed to acquire a job, acts of service can help others improve their own lives while doing so much for those who serve, as well.
- Bridge Barriers
In his fight for civil rights, Dr. King inspired Americans to think beyond themselves, look past differences and work toward equality. Serving side by side, community service bridges barriers between people and teaches us that in the end, we are more alike than we are different.
In 2008, more then 500,000 volunteers served in more than 5,200 projects in all 50 states. A record turnout is anticipated for 2009. For more information on the Martin Luther King Day of Service, go to www.mlkday.gov.
January 8, 2009