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Students mark MLK Day with service

January 29, 2011
The Herald-Star

BETHANY - Volunteers from Bethany College honored the legacy of Martin Luther King with a day of community service as well as a celebratory dinner attended by Shaundra Miles, director of programming and cultivation for the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

Organizers said the activities served as a reminder of King's vision of a "Beloved Community" and his challenge: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"

Scott D. Miller, president of Bethany College, said, "From my standpoint as a college president, community service is one of the most rewarding actions I can encourage our students to participate in. It proves that one person can make a difference and that when a group of people pools its resources, anything is possible."

The college was selected by West Virginia Campus Compact as a MLK Day of Service 2011 Host Campus and received a mini-grant to help fund the day's efforts.

Fifty-three volunteers, including faculty, staff and students, logged 212 hours of work with local organizations such as the Weirton Christian Center, Weirton Geriatric Center, American Red Cross, Brooke Hills Park, Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless, Wyngate Senior Living Community, Easter Seals, Mary Ann Manor and A Child's Place Court-Appointed Special Advocate program.

Projects included helping children read to the elderly, cleaning and painting, preparing meals and organizing and stocking shelves, visiting with Alzheimer's patients and making survey calls.

Concluding the day's activities, Miles spoke on "Tzedakah and the Remembrance of Self." Her remarks were followed by a video presentation of "I Have a Dream."

The recording of King's famous address was created by students of Communications Professor Jay Libby and included portions of King's speech spoken by Bethany faculty, staff and students.

Miller said, "Here at Bethany, our students participate in community service activities all throughout the year, so today was no exception to that service. What makes it stand out, however, is that today's activities serve to remind us of Dr. King's incalculable contribution to strengthening the fabric of American life by calling on citizens of all races and all creeds to weave their efforts together to further the cause of liberty for all, justice for all, freedom for all, and hope for all."

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