HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 21, 2019 – High Point University students, faculty and staff made an impact on the community during today’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
More than 600 volunteers participated in 29 projects across the city of High Point to serve others through more than 1,500 hours of service.
“What’s been done today would’ve taken us forever,” said Janice Dale, High Point Leap’s secretary on the board of directors. “I am so ecstatic that we could get so much done today. I have the utmost respect for all of these students from HPU that came out to help. They don’t have to, but it just shows the character they have by doing this.”
HPU’s Matthew Warrick, a second-year pharmacy student, completed his undergraduate studies at HPU and wanted to continue his tradition of giving back. He volunteered at High Point Leap, where he helped the United Way of Greater High Point pack bags of toiletries for homeless individuals.
“We’re not just getting taught classroom skills,” said Warrick. “We’re also getting taught skills that I will use in my profession, which involves caring for people. Through experiences like this, I’m able to experience it firsthand and grow.”
Other volunteer opportunities at High Point Leap included cleaning and organizing the classroom space, working in the food pantry and completing an indoor garden project.
Macketta Johns is an HPU senior journalism major and event management minor who loves working with the elderly. She took her passion to Piedmont Christian Home, where she painted Kathy Spainhour’s and Dorothy Mainhood’s finger nails.
“I was so excited when I saw the opportunity to volunteer at Piedmont Christian Home because I love being pampered and having my nails done,” said Johns. “Painting my grandma’s nails is something that I do because my grandma is my best friend and it’s a bonding activity.”
“It’s meaningful and I appreciate the HPU students. I feel like a million dollars,” said Mainhood.
“I appreciate what everyone has been doing for me, and I appreciate HPU for the activities they all do,” said Spainhour.
Johns has volunteered every year for HPU’s MLK Day of Service because giving back to her community is important to her.
“I think this is a day to serve the community in any way,” said Johns. “I was so excited this was something I could do because I knew it would be fun for me, fun for them, and the fact that this is service makes me excited.”
It was a cold morning, but Erin Murphy, HPU graduate and AmeriCorps VISTA, organized a team to be out in full force at Fairview Elementary School.
“I’m really excited because it’s so cold and we have all these volunteers,” said Murphy. “I was not expecting all these people to show up.”
Murphy and a group of about two dozen volunteers were out early at the Fairview Elementary School playground spreading mulch to keep the children safe during recess.
“I think it’s really important for HPU students to engage the surrounding community because this is a university that doesn’t just prepare its students for jobs, but also empowers them to care about everybody including the surrounding community that may greatly appreciate a helping hand,” said Harrison Seitz, an HPU senior biology major.
On campus, students participated in various service projects, including The Outreach Program’s food packing event, where students packed more than 40,000 easy to prep meals for the surrounding community, and HPUtt, where teams used $10,000 of canned food to build mini golf courses and compete for prizes. The food was then donated to local pantries.
HPU also held the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day worship service in Hayworth Chapel on HPU’s campus. HPU faculty offered a series of Teach-Ins focused on educating people to continue Dr. King’s legacy.