Plans Underway for MLK Day of Service 2012

December 6, 2011
CONTACT: Rikki Smith
(417) 625-3521
JOPLIN, MO (SNS) –  During the third week of January 2012, Missouri Southern State University students, faculty, and staff  and members of the community will volunteer for service projects to commemorate Martin Luther King Day and a week-long celebration of service.  Registration is now available for many of the events.  Please consider how you can contribute during this week of reflection and remembrance.
A smart mob event is planned for the morning of Saturday, Jan. 14.  Think of the Smart Mob as a flash mob with a cause.  MSSU's MLK Smart Mob is joining forces with the Joplin Fire Department to plan and execute the community service event. Details will unfold in the days leading up to the Smart Mob event. Rest assured, suspense is a key characteristic of the Smart Mob scene.  Smart Mob Registration is available on the event’s webpage.  The public is welcome to attend. 
Sunday, Jan. 15, will focus on an event with The Independent Living Center. Older Americans are particularly at risk from injury or death in falls and fires.  We’ll help this audience understand how to protect themselves with a fun festival-type event.  Prizes will be awarded. 
Volunteers will work throughout the week at community organizations and on-campus projects.  Registration is completely online this year.  We hope to have 200 volunteers working on projects in as many as 15 community partners.  Please visit the MLK Project Page to register for an event.  Come to the site often, more projects are coming online next week.  T-shirts are available while supplies last.
Monday, Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Holiday, will begin at 7 a.m. with the 11th annual Celebration Breakfast in the Ballroom of Billingsly Student Center at MSSU.   The community is welcome. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $3.25 at the MSSU ticket office. Please use our MLK Celebration Breakfast webpage to pre-register if you wish to pay at the door.
A seminar will take place on Monday, Jan. 16, from 11 a.m. to noon in Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall. Rev. Sam Nero, pastor at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Joplin will speak.
The documentary film “New York Says Thank You”  will be shown in Phelps Theater in Billingsly Student Center. Show times are 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Families, scout groups and civic organizations are encouraged to attend this event.  Admission is free. Please bring a canned food donation if possible.
Thursday, Jan. 19, at 2:30 pm, the History Channel documentary about MLK’s life will be shown in Phelps Theater of Billingsly Student Center.
Friday, Jan. 20, wraps up the week with a mid-day Reflection Ceremony in Connor Ballroom of Billingsly Student Center.
Several on-campus projects will be available.  Donations for MSSUs efforts toward the national food drive effort can be taken to the Resource Center on the third floor of Spiva Library on campus or to one of the many drop-off locations in high traffic areas across campus. All donations stay in our area.  Letters to Soldiers will be collected in the Lions’ Den in Billingsly Student Center on Monday, Jan. 15.  On Tuesday of that week, the nonprofit organization Art Feeds will bring a special project to campus.  The Art Department is helping with an amazing public art project. 
"MLK Day of Service and our week-long celebration give us an opportunity to help community organizations while instilling a passion for civic service in the lives of the students at Missouri Southern," says organizer Rikki Smith, Coordinator of the Service Learning Program.  "Sometimes all a person needs is one great experience in community service to spark a lifetime of civic responsibility," she adds.
Smith says members of the general public are invited to take part in any of the MLK Day of Service events or the week-long celebration.  Local residents wanting to register a project of their own are asked to contact the MSSU Resource Development Center.  If you wish to help with projects already planned, you’re invited to register on the MLK Project Page.
Details on each of these projects will be updated frequently on the MSSU MLK Day of Service Facebook page and website at  Information is also available by email at or by contacting the Resource Development Center at 417.659.5479.