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  • Hedda Jarhall

A day of service: MLK Day engages the community

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national day of service where all Americans are encouraged to volunteer and serve their communities. The holiday honors the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and his life and legacy.

For the eighth year in a row, Palm Beach Atlantic University participated in MLK Day of Service by making lunch boxes and hygiene bags to provide to people who most need them in Palm Beach County.

Together with the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, 844 PBA students, community members, alumni and staff came together to volunteer. 145 of them came to the packing project at the Rinker Athletic Campus.

Makenna Welch, a worker at the Workship Office at PBA, said she enjoyed the event because it engaged the community and is a project many people often return to.

“This is actually an event that has been going on for eight years and we always get a lot done in a short time. I think our volunteers really enjoy this kind of service because they feel they are helping the community with things that make a real change,” she said.

Welch emphasized the importance of volunteering on this day as a way to honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. as he spent his life helping his community by advocating for a just and equal society. She also connected the MLK Day of Service to her Christian faith.

“I think it is important to go out on MLK’s birthday to serve people who need help and give back to our community. Volunteering is also an example of what Christ did as he went out and served people which makes this day even more important to me and many others,” Welch said.

MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. People all over the U.S. engage in this day to help out the community.

Krysta Memis was one of many volunteers who came to serve on this day. She said it was the first time she volunteered at MLK Day.

“This was my first time so I did not know what to expect but everyone here is very happy and joyful about serving the community. I feel very excited about being involved in this,” Memis said.

Memis said MLK Day was a good excuse to come down to Florida. She used to study at PBA and saw volunteering as a good way to give back to the local community she used to live in while visiting friends.

“I am very happy I came down here to serve. I have had a very positive experience. I will definitely start volunteering every MLK Day from now on,” Memis said.

Memis and Welch gave advice to those who have never volunteered on MLK Day before.

“Everyone seems very excited to be here and it is a good way to give back to the community. I would for sure recommend everyone who can to go out and serve on this day, it is very fun and meaningful,” Memis said.

“You feel very good after serving and it feels good to help people. I would just say to go out and try it,” Welch added.

By Hedda Jarhall

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