A Day On, Not a Day Off
Sean Ramsden

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday (MLKDay.gov). It was in 1994 that this day was declared a national day of service, and since then, all United States citizens have been encouraged to dedicate their time to local nonprofit organizations to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work.

This year, the official Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will take place on Monday, January 17, 2011, and one local opportunity for service is available to all Rider faculty and staff, in cooperation with the City of Trenton, the New Jersey State AmeriCorps VISTA Program and the AmeriCorps Program.  

That day, participating individuals will meet at Trenton City Hall at 8:30 a.m. before dividing into small groups to conduct service projects at various sites throughout the city, including the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton, P.J. Hill Elementary School and the Boys & Girls Club of Trenton and Mercer County. Projects are expected to conclude by 3 p.m. Please contact Annie Pasqua, assistant director of Campus Life for Service Learning, at apasqua@rider.edu, for more information.

If you would rather serve closer to home, other opportunities can be found at http://www.mlkday.gov. Staff members who wish to participate in the Day of Service must have the approval of their supervisor and are required to take a vacation day.

Because classes will not be in session during the actual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Rider University students will be offered service opportunities during the Black History Month celebration in February. This year, Rider will celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on February 17 and 18 at local agencies. Last year, we sent more than 30 students to seven local agencies and are looking forward to making an even bigger impact this year. Formal details will be announced soon. However, you may contact Jacquelyn Wonsey, coordinator of Community Service, at jwonsey@rider.edu, for more information.