The 2011 MSSU MLK Day of Service involved 162 volunteers in 19 featured projects throughout the city. Participants wrote letters to soldiers, painted walls, made phone calls, taught children about brushing their teeth, stocked donations of medical supplies/clothes/food, placed backerboards in library shelves, covered outdated property stamps in library books, donated items (food/toiletries/clothes/shoes/books) and helped run MLK Day activities. The day started with 90 in attendance at the 10th Annual Celebration Breakfast, 60 people attended the mid-day seminar, and 44 attended the end-of-day Reflection Ceremony.
EastMiddle School ha only been open for two years. At the time East was built, another new middle school was constructed and a third was completely renovated. In the shuffle, all the books in theEast Middle School library were transferred from one of the other schools. Each selection was marked with three property stamps of another school. When the library materials were found in public or returned to another library, it was difficult for them to return home to East Middle.
Another issue related to the new construction presented itself in theEastMiddle Schoollibrary. When the library was furnished, the shelves were two inches too deep and backerboards were not installed. This caused several issues. The books, especially in the non-fiction section, slipped to the back of the shelves. They were often damaged on the cinderblock walls. Books were also difficult to find because they shuffled out of order when they slipped to the back of the shelf.
To help remedy these two situations, MSSU MLK Day of Service volunteers pulled out all the stops! Fifty-three volunteers and two East Middle School staff members served over 110 hours on January 17, 2011. MSSU President’s Council, MSSU Athletics, Kappa Alpha Order, MSSU Library Staff, MSSU faculty members, and several individuals headed to the East Middle School Library. They placed 90 backerboards in the fiction section of the library and placed 24,000 “Property of East Middle School” address labels over the old property stamps.
The East Middle School Librarian, Bonnie Turner, was thrilled to have the volunteers in the library. Turner says that she counted 31 volunteers working at one time; they were spread throughout the library and everyone still had plenty of room.
No community service opportunity is successful without great relationships with community partners. For 2011, these non-profits and organizations benefited from direct service:
East Middle School, Exploration Station Exploration Station, La Petite Academy, Kids and Co, Development Depot, Independent Living Center, Art Feeds, Boys & Girls Club, Community Clinic, Crosslines Ministries, We Care of the 4 States, Habitat for Humanity, 414th MP CO - Letters to Soldiers, NALA, Salvation Army