Tag Archives: MLK Day of Service

More than 300 TSU Students, Volunteers Participate in MLK, Jr. Day of Service

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is continuing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an MLK Day of Service.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, more than 300 TSU students and volunteers participated in various projects around Nashville that included working with kids, assisting elderly residents, packing food, painting and hanging photos.

The MLK Day of Service at TSU is organized each year by the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement to give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to celebrate King’s legacy through service.

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TSU students Courtney Couser, left, and Cochilla Wright move boxes at Madison Middle School on MLK Day of Service. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The center was one of six organizations to receive federal and matching funds two years ago from the Corporation for National and Community Service to mobilize volunteers to honor King’s memory through service projects.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in service, and this initiative falls in line with not just his belief, but TSU’s motto – Think. Work. Serve,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “We’re proud that TSU was selected as one of six institutions to help lead this national service project.”

Like the other institutions, TSU mobilizes students and community volunteers to take on projects around the city.

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TSU students and volunteers clean the playground at Grace M. Eaton Child Care and Early Learning Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Barbara Dudley, a senior economics and finance major, was one of about 25 students who cleaned windows, sanitized chairs and shelves, moved trash and cleaned the yard and the parking lot at Grace M. Eaton Child Care and Early Learning Center on Saturday.

“It feels really good to give back,” Dudley said. “I have always had a passion for service and for children and to be able to help at a day care just makes it more meaningful for me.”

Mahalia Howard, the executive director of the center, agrees.

“I think it is wonderful for young people to give back to the community,” she said. “What they are doing for us here today is a blessing because we are a non-profit. We don’t have the funds to pay for the things they are doing. What they are doing is helping to support at-risk students.”

In La Vergne, Tennessee, more than 30 volunteers performed various chores for elderly residents at AHEPA 343, an independent living apartment complex for seniors. They cleaned living areas, moved trash, hung pictures, and moved furniture.

Linda Tynan, 68, a six-year resident, who just needed company, was moved to tears by the students’ willingness to help.

“I think its terrific to see these students take up their time to come and lend a hand to people they don’t even know,” Tynan said. “What they are doing today might not seem much to them, but I appreciate every minute of it.”

Dr. Linda Guthrie is the director of the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement. She said the MLK Day of Service is one of the most exciting events the center has ever undertaken.

“It is an honor to lead 11 other HBCUs throughout the southeast region of the country in serving our communities,” she said. “We should feel challenged and act on the challenge to do something good every day to make a difference in the lives of others.”

“We want people to realize that Dr. King’s holiday is not just a day off,” said Shirley Nix-Davis, director of a youth empowerment program at TSU and one of the MLK Day of Service project directors. “But it’s an opportunity to serve, and continue serving throughout the year.”

For more information on the MLK Day of Service, contact the TSU Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement.

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU leads national service project that continues legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is using funding it was awarded to help facilitate a national service initiative involving 10 other higher education institutions in the southeast region.

Following a competitive grant process, TSU received $447,000 in June from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the agency that leads the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in service, and this initiative falls in line with not just his belief, but TSU’s motto – Think. Work. Serve,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “We’re proud that TSU was selected as one of six institutions to help lead this national service project.”

TSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement was one of six organizations to receive federal and matching funds from CNCS to mobilize volunteers to honor King’s memory through service projects. TSU then provided the 10 regional HBCUs with mini-grants up to $4,400.

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TSU student Dazzjah Jones helps with beautification project at a local day care center. (By John Cross, TSU Media Service)

Some of the institutions used the grants for activities in January, while others are doing theirs through August. The activities include community beautification, disaster relief initiatives, and financial literacy and on-site education events.

Specifically at TSU, which performed its activities the first weekend in April, students and community volunteers packed disaster relief boxes, helped workers at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, and partnered with the Nashville Area American Red Cross to help install smoke detectors in homes.

Carrie Grishaber was one of several workers with the American Red Cross who were with students when they visited homes to promote fire safety.

“This benefits the community because we get the students really involved in the neighborhoods,”Grishaber said. “People get to see the Red Cross and college students together, making a positive difference.”

TSU student Tyler Lewis was one of the more than 400 individuals who signed up to participate in TSU’s MLK Day of Service. She was in one of the groups that visited homes near the college to teach people how to be prepared for home fires and to install smoke alarms where needed.

“I know this will help the community,” said Lewis, an 18-year-old psychology major. “Lives are lost every year due to not knowing, or not understanding, ways to protect yourself when it comes to fire.”

At Second Harvest Food Bank, volunteer services manager Stacie Denton said she’s grateful for TSU’s volunteer service.

“Volunteers are critical to our day-to-day operations and provide invaluable support in the fight against hunger in Middle Tennessee,” Denton said.

TSU junior Christina Young said the activities give her and other students a chance “to give back.”

“I think it’s very important to give back and be aware of other surroundings,” said the 21-year-old Young, who is majoring in mass communications. “This makes you not just think about yourself, but think about others.”

Established in 1993, CNCS engages more than five million Americans in service through different programs each year. The funding is intended to get more Americans to observe the MLK federal holiday as a day of service in communities, and encourage them to make a long-term commitment to community service.

“We want people to realize that Dr. King’s holiday is not just a day off,” said Shirley Nix-Davis, director of a youth empowerment program at TSU and one of the MLK Day of Service project directors. “But it’s an opportunity to serve, and continue serving throughout the year.”

The colleges and universities that received mini-grants from TSU are Albany State University, American Baptist College, Benedict College, Clinton College, Dillard University, Huston-Tillotson University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Southern University and A&M College, and Talladega College.