Every year on the third Monday in January, volunteers from all over the country come together to dedicate time to serving the community. The Bennion Center honors Dr. King on the Saturday before the holiday, rallying students and community members alike in service. This year more than 250 students joined us and donated almost 500 hours of service. Volunteers worked on 11 different projects, each designed to make our community healthier, stronger, more inclusive and just. Here's what we accomplished:
- 16 fleece blankets made.
- 21 people trained to do vision screenings for Friends for Sight.
- 50 fliers delivered to promote Big Brothers Big Sisters.
- 60 hats knitted for Primary Children's Hospital patients.
- 75 bags of donations sorted at the YWCA.
- 78 balls of "plarn" made for Bags to Beds.
- 80 residents of Ronald McDonald House served breakfast.
- 150 pounds of milk separated for distribution at Crossroads Urban Center.
- 200 bags filled with food at For the Children.
- 340 boxes of food packed at Utah Food Bank for delivery to people who are elderly or disabled.
- Cleaning and organization at Maliheh Free Clinic and Crossroads Thrift Store.
At the end of the morning, students were asked to reflect on their experiences and how they were impacted by their service. “MLK Day impacted me through the vision screening training I received from Friends for Sight. The training prepared me to continue to serve and make a difference in my community,” said Angellene Catausan, a Bennion Center volunteer. Through the new experiences provided by these service projects, the Bennion Center hopes to encourage students to understand the reason that they’re serving, how it affects the people that they’re helping, and how they can continue serving others. With all the opportunities available, students can sign up for a project that lasts for a morning, such as a Saturday Service Project, or even work with an organization through a longer period of time, such as Friends for Sight.
Saturday Service Projects were created to “connect campus with the greater community and show people that there are not only needs in our communities but there’s also a lot of different organizations out there,” said Erika Gee, the Bennion Center student leader who organized the MLK event. To allow students to explore the service projects available in the community, each Saturday Service Project revolves around a theme. From health programs to environmental concerns, the Bennion Center hopes to spread more awareness to these issues and work together towards a solution. Come and experience our next Saturday Service Project focusing on health access on February 23, 2019! Click here for more information on February’s projects and to register for the event.