On-site service celebrates MLK

University of North Carolina at Greensboro junior Caressa Wilson begins working on a suncatcher which will be given to the Children’s Home Society along with others made during the 2018 MLK Day of Service. Photo By Praveena Somasundaram/The Guilfordian

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

It was a question posed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957 during a speech in Montgomery, Alabama. A civil rights activist and leader, King consistently encouraged people to engage in service.

Now, almost 50 years after King’s death, the Volunteer Center of Greensboro honors his legacy of service to others by hosting an annual Day of Service event. This year’s Day of Service was held on Monday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Four Seasons Town Centre.

The event attracts thousands of participants to do various on-site service projects with many volunteers, such as Bennett College senior Constance Staley, attending in large groups.

“We were actually already going to be here and so … we all decided, as a collective sorority, that we were going to be here,” said Staley, the president of Bennett College’s Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. “It hits us in a special way, all of the work that Martin Luther King did for us.

“And just to be here doing service in general is just really special to our hearts, so that’s why we’re here.”

The on-site service projects at the Day of Service included activities such as creating suncatchers for the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, an organization that offers resources for families interested in adopting or fostering children.

Jonica Lockhart, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, expressed the importance of unity in service to the community.

“I feel as if it’s important for the community to all come together since (Martin Luther King Jr.) did fight for equality and peace among everyone,” said Lockhart. “Especially, this event being at the mall, it’s so accessible to anyone that it just makes it perfect for the opportunity for people to give back.”

In addition to on-site projects, the Day of Service also included a nonprofit fair, where the Volunteer Center’s community partners could present information on their various causes and recruit volunteers.

One such community partner participating in the event was Wheels4Hope.

“So Wheels4Hope, I like to say we are in the car blessing business,” said Adriane Singleton, a member of Wheels4Hope. “We take in donated vehicles and match them up with families who need transportation. The families come to us from different agencies, over 30 in the Triad and the surrounding Piedmont Triad area.”

For Singleton and Wheels4Hope, the Day of Service played a crucial role in making the Greensboro community more aware of their mission.

“We look for every opportunity we can to let people know about Wheels4Hope,” said Singleton. “It’s all about a word of mouth thing for us. We need donated vehicles, as many cars as we can get to match them up with families.”

Whether participating in the nonprofit fair, viewing the various performances that were given in the Four Seasons Town Centre’s amphitheater, or completing volunteer projects, the event’s attendees were united through many forms of service.

“This is a special day, of course, Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” said Staley. “We decided it would be great to start the day with service.”