Raking leaves, shoveling dirt, and cleaning houses may not be everyone’s ideal way of spending a day off, but Corban students and staff have the opportunity to do these things and much more in service to the Salem community on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
REACH director Lori Schilling organized the first ever all-campus service day that will happen Monday, January 16, with the hopes of starting a legacy of service at Corban. Collaborating with HandsOn Mid-Willamette Valley, an organization that connects volunteers to places that need volunteers, Schilling came up with a long list of ways students and staff can spend their day helping people. Staff members will lead teams of students and staff out into the community to complete these service projects.
“We have had a good response from staff and faculty,” Schilling said. “They quickly filled every spot to lead.”
Since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was first observed in America in 1986, the national holiday has provided an outlet for various organizations to capitalize on service projects. King’s own family wanted the day dedicated to service, says Schilling. Corban is just one of the many schools and organizations nation-wide that mark this day as an important chance to reflect on King’s legacy by volunteering.
“We felt like we should raise the service ethic on campus,” said Schilling. “We want students involved in the community not just based on getting REACH credits, but because that’s what we do.”
Among the places that Corban students and staff can work for the day of service are Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club, the Historic Deepwood Estate, and J. Knox Community Garden. Those from Corban can do anything from reading with kids or making trails for walking.
One project on MLK Day that makes Schilling especially excited is a community clean-up activity in a south-east Salem neighborhood, where Corban staff member Jared Hernandez will lead the group along with other Willamette students. The joint effort between the two different colleges is something that Schilling thinks is special.
Most of the service projects run from 10 a.m-3 p.m. on Monday, and Aramark will not be serving lunch to encourage student involvement. Sign-ups are filling quickly, so Schilling encourages everyone to sign up on the top floor of Schimmel right away to be a part of Corban’s legacy of service in this way.