HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 18, 2016 – High Point University students, faculty, staff and members of the community spent “A Day On, Not Off” in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day today.
Meal packing, gardening, providing transportation, helping families with trips to the pharmacy and grocery store, and cleanup of schools and community spaces are just a few of the 35 service projects that took place throughout the city of High Point today. More than 600 volunteers contributed 1,500 hours of service this Martin Luther King Jr. Day – part of the 100,000 hours service that the university contributes each year.
HPU professor of clinical sciences Dr. Jordan Smith took a refugee family to a local pharmacy to teach them about over-the-counter products and how to compare prices. For many refugees, it was their first time in an American pharmacy.
“It’s really exciting to be able to help these people within the community,” said Smith. “Working with them to find the medication that they need is going to be very beneficial to them in the future. High Point is a great place that has a lot of medical need, and I am glad to work at High Point University and be here to help with that.”
Other service projects provided assistance to the hungry. Volunteers with the Meals of Hope project, for instance, packed 20,000 meals that will be distributed to food pantries in the Greater High Point area. And through the Stop Hunger Now project, some 20,000 more meals are ready to be sent around the world.
“It is nice to be able to give back in such a big way like this,” said HPU student Lucas Chirino, while he packaged homeless care kits at the HPU Community Center. “Martin Luther King Jr. wanted a lot for everyone, specifically equality, and I love being able to be a part of a service project that gives food and toiletries to those who need these items in our community.”
“The High Point University students have been a huge help to us today packing food and toiletries for the homeless in our community,” said James LeGrande, United Way volunteer and coordinator of the event at the HPU Community Center. “Everyone can serve in a small way. And when everyone comes out and does a small part, we can make this community, this world, great together.”
The HPU family and community members also gardened and landscaped at West End Ministries, World Relief and other places throughout the community to beautify the High Point area.
“We knew that we had the day off, so we wanted to make it a day of service,” said Alex Persiani, member of the HPU soccer team who did landscaping with her teammates at West End Ministries. “We are just trying to help West End Ministries in any way we can. We love doing this and giving back.”
“High Point University has helped out West End Ministries tremendously today, as they do all year around,” said Brad Bowers, program director at West End Ministries. “They are getting done in two or three hours what would take us weeks to finish. They have organized rooms, cleaned out rooms, helped in our food pantry, just so many different projects. It means a lot to us.”