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MLK Day of Service Challenge Re-Cap

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Jan 28, 2016
by Dalton Hoffer

UNCP volunteers gathered to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. early Monday morning to serve our community.  Three hundred and fifteen (315) UNC- Pembroke students & community members, and nine (9) Faculty and Staff made it a day ON, not a day off, making this the largest Day of Service to date at UNC- Pembroke.   Serving sixteen (16) projects throughout the community, volunteers took over Pembroke, NC and set out to make a difference.   Working with the Town of Pembroke, the Lumbee Tribe, the local Fire and Rescue Departments, Park and Recreation, Union Elementary School, Asbury Homes, and the Odum Home, volunteers were sure to make an impact.   A couple groups worked on campus in the community garden near the Pine Cottage north of campus while others on campus did hard work at the University Center.  One group traveled to Lumberton, NC to feed the homeless at My Refuge, while our largest group scaled our town in a road side cleanup.  Despite the cold, our brave spirit kept us motivated to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and celebrate his passion for community!   

Volunteers were challenged by the UNCP Career Center & Office for Community & Civic Engagement to participate in a photo challenge where they were asked to take photos during their service that best represent the top five skills future employers look for (teamwork, leadership, communication, problem solving, and work ethic).  Volunteers posted these photos on social media using #UNCPMLK, the winners will be announced this week.    

To cap off the day, volunteers gathered at the UNCP Business Incubator in downtown Pembroke for a cookout to celebrate community.  Joining us was the newly elected Lumbee Tribal Chairmen, Mr. Harvey Godwin.  He spoke on how community is power and through joint efforts like this, we can make change.

Volunteers shared their reflections with our 30 student site leaders about insights gained and new appreciation for the local community, here is what some stated:

"Our team was able to split up to accomplish several small projects for the staff at the Odom Home. These people change someone's world every day and it's good to know that we made that job a little easier!"

"It was great to build relationships with other students by serving together and it also drew my attention to further opportunities and needs within the community where I can serve."

"Students from all different ethnicity's came together to support our community, and I believe that THAT is what MLK stood for!" 

"No service is too small.  We helped organize [clothes and toys] so that others can be more easily provided with things they need." 

"UNCP has done a great job in making our community a better place."