Facing a steady snowfall, more than 250 students came out to participate in a day of service put on by the 28th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Student Planning Committee on Monday.
The day of service sent participants to service sites which included nursing homes, the Penn State Arboretum, pet centers and blood drives, where people donated blood as service, said Kiona Dyches, the co-director of day of service for this year's Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Student Planning Committee.
The number of participants increased from about 200 last year to more than 250 this year, said Fatima Kumala, the co-director of the day of service.
The event went “really well” and the event saw a high number of walk-in volunteers, Dyches (junior-journalism) said.
Dyches said the large amount of walk-ins helped fill in the empty spots of no-show volunteers.
“We filled up all the spots on volunteer.psu.edu,” Dyches said. “But a lot of people got sick or didn’t show up because of the weather.”
The turnout, no shows, and walk-in volunteers are normal of this day of service, Dyches said.
“Other days of service, they are all during the spring and summer time,” Dyches said. “Our day of service, it’s hard to get people to show up because it’s in January.”
As for the weather, the organizers of the day of service took measures this year to ensure it wouldn’t be a major problem this year.
“We made sure we incorporated sites that wouldn’t have a problem with weather,” Kumala said “We notified participants in advance if warmer clothes were going to be needed.”
Christine Montilla, a first-time participant in a day of service, said she has always done community service, but a day of service offered something different.
“I’ve always done community service. I thought why not do it with a group of people you enjoy being around and who share the same joy in doing community service,” Motilla (junior-public relations) said. “It's a day attributed to community service. It was the perfect opportunity.”
Montilla was stationed at the Centre County Library and Historical Museum in Bellefonte where she participated for about three and a half hours.
“Basically, at the museum, there were a lot of old records and peoples wills that were deceased,” Montilla said. “A lot of the envelopes that wills were held in were ripped. We organized them and gave them nice new envelopes.”
Penn State - University Park is not the only campus participating in a day of service. Penn Sate DuBois hosted five other Commonwealth Campuses for their own day of service.
With more than 70 participants, the day of service was at eight sites including a nursing home, a preschool and the humane society, said Marly Doty, the assistant director of student affairs at Penn State Dubois.