Martin Luther King turned into a day of service in Corvallis

Valerie Maule, Multimedia Contributor

On Saturday, over 300 Oregon State students and community members volunteered their time to participate in the annual Martin Luther King Day of Service Event.

This event covered many different aspects of volunteer work that extended beyond the campus borders. Activities and projects that were available for volunteering at included; deep cleaning at the Whiteside Theater in downtown Corvallis, picking up trash around campus and Monroe St. as well as remodeling OSU Military and Veteran Resources in Snell Hall, among others.

For many volunteers, it was simply a day to give back to the community. One such volunteer was Eleanor Cole, one of the many helpers that was currently working on crafts for Meals on Wheels.

“I really like to help the community, and I think of how I help these people while I’m doing this. I mean it’s just a small thing, and it makes such a huge impact on their lives.” Eleanor Cole said.

Jessie Li, one of the student leaders and internal coordinators for this event, mentioned how this was one of their largest community service events and that it was, in particular, the largest well-received event they have ever witnessed.

“This is the biggest day of service that the CCE hosts every year, and this is actually the biggest that OSU had ever. We’ve had over 330 registered. So it’s very exciting, and we’ve been working on this for months, so it’s really cool to see it all pan out.” said Li. “But this day of service is a great way to kick off the weekend; I think to remind everyone that we can always help and we can always do something.”

Some of the volunteers believed that Saturday was something more than just giving their time to better the community, such as Track Team members Lucinda Howard and Kristiane With, who were also present for the Crafts for Meals on Wheels.

“It’s really important to give back to your community, but it’s also how important this day is in our society and around our world.” said Howard, “I think it is important, just that moment in time and how things have changed and improved over time. People being more accepting of different cultures and thoughts and ideas, so it is a day to remember all of that.”

Events like these, especially when they relate to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, are important because they highlight issues that are otherwise swept under the rug, according to With.

“Just highlighting that we got to embrace our differences, we got to embrace our different cultures and where we come from, and I think that this is the best way that we can do it.”

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