Marietta College receives grant for MLK Day of Service

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 2:08 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Marietta College has been awarded a federal grant of $15,545 by the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) - the U.S. federal agency for volunteering and service - for the 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Project.

Each year, the college observes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by engaging in service projects to support local organizations, and the grant will cover the costs of those efforts.

In previous years, the college has worked with organizations like GoPacks, EVE, Inc. Domestic Violence Center, Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, Humane Society of the Ohio Valley, Friends of the Lower Muskingum River, The Trading Post - Ohio Wilderness Boys Camp Thrift Shop, Marietta Community Food Pantry, Gospel Mission Food Pantry, People's Bank Theatre, Marietta Toy and Doll Museum, Betsy Mills Club, Marietta in Bloom, Marietta Main Street, Operation Gratitude, Love for the Elderly, and Amnesty International.

While the MLK Day of Service is organized by Marietta College, it is also an opportunity for local residents to give back, as well.

“It’s a majority of students who are participating...and our faculty and staff get involved. But we also have community members who decide to join in,” Said Tom Perry, the college’s vice president for communication and brand management.

Perry explained that this is the third year that the school has organized the day of service, and the second year it has received a grant. The grant, he said, allows the school to expand and add to the program in ways that were not possible the first year. For example, the school is able to provide meals for volunteers, as well as other benefits.

Because Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not until January and planning has been made more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic, the school has not yet decided which organizations it will work with this time around, though Perry said it is likely that many of the organizations worked with in previous years will be involved again.

While the school does not hold classes on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Perry explained that, among the campus community, it is viewed as a day to give back, not merely a holiday.

“It’s not really a day off, we call it a day on. Everybody is kind of expected to do some sort of service week that day,” Perry said.

Perry also said that the grant is beneficial because, the more organizations the school is able to interact with, the higher the visibility for the program and more the program is able to grow.

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