Y-Serve volunteers to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by giving back

Elliott Miller
BYU students decorate tote bags for Head Start, a volunteer based organization that supports pre-school aged children of low-income families, as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day during 2015. (Elliott Miller)

Students and community members will gather for local service projects this Monday, Jan. 16 on the BYU campus to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Last year the school had over 1,200 volunteers who attended this event, according to a Y-Serve program director named Lauren Holbrook. These volunteers range in all ages from grandparents to young children. Anyone is able to participate in this community outreach service project.

Volunteers will register in the Wilkinson Center at 8 a.m. After signing in, participants can drink juice and hot chocolate, eat donuts and watch an uplifting video about the event.

The event will kickoff with motivational speakers and a performance from the Debra Bonner Gospel Unity Choir. After the kickoff, volunteers will leave around 9:30 a.m. for two hours to work on projects on and off of campus.

Executive director for Community Outreach Day Nathan Espinoza has been working with the program since he was a freshman.

Shortly after joining the club, Espinoza was contacted by the Community Outreach Day Program and has been a member ever since. Espinoza said that this is a wonderful way to spend your free morning by serving others.

“Our team has prepared a wonderful event with over 20 service opportunities all over the Provo community,” Espinoza said. “It’s an opportunity that cannot be missed.”

Director of The Center for Service and Learning Chris Crippen, shares his excitement for this yearly tradition and upcoming event.

“I get so energized when I see BYU students and staff gather with community members of Utah Valley on a cold winter morning to commemorate the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. through their offerings of time and talent in service of others,” Crippen said.

Madison Moffet, a team member working with the Center for Service and Learning said that this day of honoring Dr. King happens to fall on the same day as the National Day of Service.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was an inspiration and example of selfless service to us all,” Moffet said. “He dedicated his life to uniting us not only as a country but as a community too, so the least we can do to honor him is to selflessly serve alongside others in our community.”

BYU Y-Serve student board member Malorie Black said she was just like every other student and thought that there was no extra time for service in her busy schedule. She realized that taking the time to serve others gave her more happiness than focusing on her own priorities.

“There are so many blessings when you stop focusing on yourself, you get the right perspective and things always work out,” Black said.

For more information, join the Facebook event “Community Outreach Day & MLK Walk of Life and Commemoration,” or e-mail the Community Outreach Day program directors at .

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