Feb. 01, 2011

MLK remembered with a day of leadership and service

MLK service

Students laugh with a member of the Geneseo community during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 17. About 80 students and more than 25 residents packed dry soup mixes and personal and emergency kits, which will be delivered to home-bound seniors in Livingston County. /PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11




Three hundred and seventy-five emergency and personal care kits. Four hundred personal greeting cards carefully penned - and 380 dry soup mixes, all hand-packed for delivery to home-bound senior citizens in Livingston County.

One day on campus to commemorate the vision of Martin Luther King Jr.

On Jan. 17, some 80 students and several staff members partnered with local senior citizens to help those in need with food, care and well wishes for the college's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Leadership and Service. The event integrated leadership and service through a keynote address by Distinguished Teaching Professor William Cook, who talked about his pilgrimage to retrace the footsteps of King in the deep south. There were also Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development workshops on the themes of leadership and service — including human rights — and the three collaborative volunteer projects. The kits and cards will be delivered as needed and on birthdays and special occasions by volunteer drivers who deliver meals to the 400 home-bound seniors in the area.

Feedback on evaluations and comments from students and senior citizens were very positive, says Tom Matthews, director of leadership education and training. One senior citizen, he said, told him that despite living in nearby Avon her entire life, she had never been on campus until the service day. She was delighted to meet and work with students, he said.

"The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Leadership and Service was a great opportunity for Geneseo students to recognize and honor Dr. King. The service project was a unique experience to collaborate with senior citizens and I'm glad that I had the opportunity take part in this special day," says Elizabeth Lawrence '12.

The program was a collaborative effort of the Division of Student and Campus Life, Center for Community, College Union and Activities, GOLD, the Volunteer Center, Multicultural Programs and Services, the Student Association, and Campus Auxiliary Services in partnership with the Livingston County Office of the Aging. Funding was provided by the Center for Community, Student Association, Campus Auxiliary Services, the Livingston County Office of the Aging, and a grant from New York Campus Compact and the North Carolina Campus Compact.