Students package meals for the organization Feeding Children Everywhere as part of the Day of Impact observing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
Jan 23, 2015
Florida Southern College combined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for equality with an opportunity to help others through Day of Impact, an event where the FSC community and local organizations engaged in a service project.
The day of service and celebration, held Jan. 19 in the Wellness and Recreation Center, was organized in collaboration with FSC’s Multicultural Student Council and Student Government Association. In addition to listening to guest speaker Deric Feacher, City Manager of Winter Haven, students enjoyed brunch, participated in a service project and T-shirt swap, as well as networked with local businesses in the community as part of the day’s Fun Fest.
Stressing “the importance of education and coming together as a community,” Feacher delivered a message that encouraged students to “have a dream that expands to something greater and not only helps you, but also helps others.”
This year, SGA made the decision to change Week of Impact to Day of Impact.
“It was a great way to have more student involvement over the day rather than spreading it out through the week,” Chase Hoyt, sophomore and SGA’s vice president of community and public relations, said. “We had 193 students who signed in and a lot of them stayed for the volunteer portion near the end. In fact we had more people than we needed so we ended up finishing the service project ahead of schedule.”
King’s life was dedicated to serving others. Having worked with Feeding Children Everywhere before, SGA felt teaming up with the organization again would be an ideal way to honor him. Students who participated in the service project – preparing pre-packaged meal kits – seemed to agree.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us the importance of giving others a voice and doing what is right to help them,” Ashlyn Koonce, sophomore and Day of Impact volunteer, said. “Giving back has always been something that I hold close to my heart and I am so thankful to have helped put together over 20,000 meals for children and families in need.”
Another service opportunity organized by SGA and MSC for Day of Impact was a T-shirt swap. The first 500 students who brought in a gently used shirt were able to exchange it for a FSC Day of Impact T-shirt. All collected clothing items were donated to local thrift stores.
In addition to the contributions made by SGA, there were certain traditions from previous MLK celebrations that MSC wanted to uphold.
“I loved the video we showed capturing the opinions of students, professors, and staff,” Adrienne Griffin, junior and Vice President of MSC, said. “We showed a similar video last year and I think it’s a great tool to inspire others to be dreamers like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After all, he paved a legacy for everyone, not just people of color.”
Traditions aside, MSC welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with SGA with open arms. “I loved that both of our organizations put on a program to honor Dr. King and his legacy as well as give students the opportunity to volunteer and connect with various charitable organizations in the area,” she said.
Members of SGA echoed the importance of giving back.
“We wanted students to be able to network with other organizations for future volunteer opportunities. Representatives from Lakeland Regional Medical Center, SPCA, and Girl Scouts of America were there,” Hoyt, said. “I think it’s great that we had so many organizations for students to get involved with if they enjoy volunteering. We didn’t want our service project with Feeding Children Everywhere to be the only focus, we wanted Fun Fest to give students the chance to get to know members of our community as well as campus organizations.
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