Elon invited to honor Martin Luther King Jr. through service opportunities

Elon community members can volunteer to participate in a blood drive, resource distribution and after-school program as a part of the Kernodle Center’s service opportunities in honor of MLK Day.

“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve … You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love,” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said. King dedicated his life to serving others. Decades later, his message of service continues to motivate and resonate with countless people.

“The power of getting out and being present in the community that we live in fits the spirit of MLK,” said Kyle Anderson, associate director of the Kernodle Center for Civil Life.

This year, the Kernodle Center has planned three service opportunities in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The first is the American Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from noon to 6 p.m. in Alumni Gym. With more than 70 students signed up, the drive had now been included in the week-long celebration of MLK Day.

On Thursday, Jan. 19 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Elon volunteers will work in small teams to distribute information door hangers to neighborhoods in east Burlington through a collaboration with the United Way of Alamance County. Having identified more people having trouble getting information on basic health care services, food pantries and child care, the resource distribution acts as a way to “empower communities.”

The Kernodle Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Alamance County have a history of collaborating and will partner with an after-school program on Friday, Jan. 20 from 2:30 to 6 p.m.

Anderson credited the Kernodle Center’s many communities partnerships for their assistance in making opportunities like this possible for Elon students. Anderson hopes that the dozens of students who will volunteer for the events come away from the experience with a greater understanding of Elon’s neighboring communities.

“Seeing different parts of the community, areas that students may not normally visit, and getting a full grasp of what the area is and what are some of the challenges, along with the assets, is important,” Anderson said.