HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 20, 2014 – Bright strokes of paint and boxes filled with fresh meals are a few of the ways that students and faculty kicked off High Point University’s “A Day On, Not Off.” Throughout the day, the HPU family renovated local schools and community centers, planted gardens, fed the hungry, held a read-in about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a field day full of activities for children.
Approximately 400 students and faculty volunteered today as part of HPU’s “A Day On, Not Off” and contributed 1,200 service hours to dozens of local projects – part of the 100,000 service hours the university serves each year.
But the day was about more than just service – it was about engaging in conversation with community members about King’s legacy and building relationships.
“I saw our students do many great things today, but the most impressive was when they had real conversations with people in the community about their city,” says Dr. Joseph Blosser, Robert G Culp Jr. director of service learning at HPU who organized the day. “There is great value in understanding how other people live and see the world. If we want to be true to Dr. King’s legacy of building a beloved community, we have to know each other.”
Throughout the city, students plunged into projects such as painting, landscaping and gardening.
“This is a great way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said junior Kevin Garrity while working on the landscaping team at West End Ministries. “He was concerned with forwarding the human race, and when you give back to any group, it honors what he did and his memory.”
At High Point Central, junior Erin Karpovich painted the hallways and helped revitalize the main lobby alongside students from the high school and HPU faculty members.
“The university is our home away from home, and that makes us citizens of High Point. It’s only right to do what we can to give back,” said Karpovich.
Inside the Community Writing Center on Guyer Street, interior design students redesigned the space so children who receive tutoring there each week will have an environment more conducive to learning and building confidence.
“Today is a good reminder of the fact that so many students and faculty serve on a continuing basis,” said Dr. Charmaine Cadeau, assistant professor of English and one of the founders of the center. “The Community Writing Center is one of those places where our students and faculty are helping local children four days a week.”
Other projects included:
• Serving lunch to 360 people at Open Door Ministries and deep cleaning the organization’s kitchen
• Hosting a read-in and field day for children at the Hartley YMCA
• Painting and landscaping efforts at the Chavis YMCA and West End Ministries
• Hosting a food drive in the Five Points community
• Packing 20,000 meals to be shipped overseas to those in need
• Cleaning streets in the Five Points neighborhood and along E. Kivett Drive
For a complete list of projects completed today, click here.