Instead of sleeping in or heading to the mall to catch some holiday sales, UNC Asheville students, faculty and staff rolled up their sleeves for the fourth annual “MLK Day of Service” on January 18. Mary Chakales, Director of Special Programs and coordinator of the event, noted that UNC Asheville joined thousands of other volunteers throughout the nation as they honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Beginning with the annual Peace Walk and Rally in downtown Asheville, it was “a day on, not a day off,” for the fifty-five students, faculty and staff who devoted their “day on” to serving the Asheville community.
Service projects ranged from planting bushes and trees for local nonprofits Asheville Greenworks and Riverlink to building fences and tending organic gardens for area neighborhoods. Some volunteers also manned Asheville’s Habitat Home Store, whose sales cover the Asheville Habitat’s administrative and fundraising costs, build one complete Habitat house per year and pay for the foundation of seventeen Habitat houses in Buncombe County annually.
The day concluded with an opportunity for the students to gather and to reflect on their service and its importance to them, as well as to the community.
Hattie Miller, Class of ’12, remarked that the great feeling of helping others, good karma and having a good excuse to be outdoors on a nice day made the day memorable to her. When asked about the event, freshman Janna Nielsen commented, "I loved being part of the community ... I loved being able to do my part in a city that I love."
For more information, please contact:
Director of Special Programs