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Campus community takes part in MLK Jr. Day of Service

Students, faculty and staff honored Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy on Jan. 17 by volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Burlington, N.C., and the Blakey Hall retirement home.

Kim Lilienthal '14 (left) and Eryn Gorang '14 take part in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

By Erin Turner '15

The Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement and the Multicultural Center at Elon University sponsored a day of service on Jan. 17 to commemorate the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Members of the Elon community came together Friday morning to help scrub doors, move tile and clean donated material for the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Burlington, N.C. Other students took part in service activites at nearby Blakey Hall later in the day, spending time with residents of the retirement community.

“The biggest goal for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee this year was to make sure that students are able to connect with their community by challenging them to think critically about issues going on in the community,” said Melissa Jordan, interim director of the Multicultural Center.

From left: Jamie Butler (assistant director of Elon's Multicultural Center), Kiki Murrain '13 (a graduate intern in the Multicultural Center) and Marilyn Slade (program assistant in the Multicultural Center) sort through items at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement store and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes in the community and around the world. 

“One of Dr. King’s many outstanding qualities was his ability to bring people together to work toward a common goal," said Bob Frigo, associate director of the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. "We are continuing this tradition today by having Elon students, faculty, and staff gather together to support the efforts of Habitat for Humanity of Alamance County to provide affordable housing for members in our community."

Morgan Fleming '16 (left), Tyler Stone '16 (middle) and Eryn Gorang '14 (right) wheel supplies out of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Volunteers provide most of the labor, and individual and corporate donors provide money and materials to build Habitat houses. Partner families invest hundreds of hours of labor - "sweat equity" - into building their homes and the homes of others. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses.

“I’ve been a part of Elon Hillel for a while and we did a trip last year for a week working with Habitat for Humanity ReStore, so when I was given the opportunity to help out today, I felt that it would be a great way to leave my mark on the community, especially on a weekend as great as MLK weekend,” said Elon University sophomore Tyler Stone.

The day of service was part of a series of campus events this month commemorating King. Volunteers, are needed year-round for a variety of Habitat for Humanity projects. To volunteer in the ReStore, call 336-222-8292. To volunteer in any other capacity, call the Habitat office at 336-222-8191.



Eric Townsend,
1/17/2014 2:30 PM