Pictured above: High Point University students organized crafts and group activities for residents at Piedmont Christian Home.
HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 15, 2018 – Jakki Davis knows that High Point University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is more than just one day of giving back. It represents HPU’s dedication to community throughout the year, every year.
On a day that honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, HPU answered his charge to serve others with more than 1,500 hours of service.
Davis, the CEO and executive director of D-UP, a program focused on keeping kids in the city of High Point active, watched while HPU students deconstructed a deck on D-UP’s property, making room for an expansion of the main building.
“The wonderful thing I’ve learned over the years about HPU’s Day of Service is that students volunteer now and then they keep coming back after this day is over,” says Davis. “They’re instilled with a commitment to the community, and their dedicated to maintaining a connection and helping where and when they can.”
Today, 33 service projects engaged students, faculty and community members across the city. They included working on community gardens, painting, cleaning community centers, meal preparation and packaging, clothing drives and more.
HPU student Jordan Mister worked at the Heal Our Heroes veterans center, cleaning and preparing the site for updates that will transform the buildings into housing for homeless veterans in the community.
“Our schedules are always busy, so today serves as a great opportunity for us to get out and spend time giving back to the community that has opened its doors to us as students,” Mister said.
Victor Jones, a Heal Our Heroes board member and a High Point City Council member, was an on-site leader during today’s project. He watched while groups of HPU students carried furniture and debris from inside a building that will be part of the Heal Our Heroes camp.
“It’s humbling to see how many students are motivated to get up and get out on their day off and on such a cold morning,” Jones said. “I’m a veteran myself, so I have a heart for this type of project. But, to see students have that same heart, it’s just, again, really humbling.”
On campus, students took part in various service projects, including collecting and packaging food and assembling “blessing bags” filled with necessities for High Point’s homeless.
High Point City Councilman Wesley Hudson attended the bag-packing event and welcomed the HPU student and community volunteers who took part in assembling blessing bags.
“Thank you all for coming today. It’s a wonderful example of HPU’s commitment, not only to the city of High Point, but for veterans nationwide,” said Hudson. “Dr. Qubein has always taught the importance of giving back and always made it a priority to serve people who have very little. We always appreciate the collaboration that we have with HPU, and you as students can take that out into the world. We’re grateful for your service.”
Community veterans and volunteers were invited to take part in the blessing bag event.
Local resident Karl Watson served in the Air Force for 26 years and attended today’s event.
“I love the support High Point University gives to our veterans,” he said. “I am happy to be here and help on this day. When I went into the service in 1971, segregation was still ending and I served with men who became my best friends. I trusted them with my life. That’s when things started changing for the better.”
HPU also held the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Worship Service today in Hayworth Chapel on HPU’s campus.