The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) will be hosting various events to appreciate and honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during Black History Month. Additionally, the Kean community will have the opportunity to be involved in various service projects and activities, within CLS's MLK Week of Service events. The MLK Week of Service will take place from Tuesday, Feb. 19 to Sunday, Feb. 24 to spread Dr. King's message of peace.
Moreover, students should note that pre-registration is required for each project. In order to register, students should visit the individual Cougar Link event posting for each project's specific details.
Senior Service Specialist Gabriella Lapointe and Managing Assistant Director for Community Service and Civic Engagement at CLS planned these events to allow students to represent Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s values.
Below are a list of service projects during this week-long event:
- New Eyes for the Needy: On Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., students will visit New Eyes for the Needy, which purchases new prescription eyeglasses through a voucher program for children and adults in the United States who cannot afford glasses on their own. Students will have the opportunity to aid in this off-campus event.
"New Eyes for the Needy started in 1932 as 'New Eyes,' and is a non-profit organization based in Short Hills, New Jersey, which provides people in the United States with eyeglasses. [They also] send recycled eyeglasses to needy people overseas, which our students will be sorting through," said Lapointe.
- MLK Week of Service - Soles 4 Souls Wearing Out Poverty: On Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., students will aid this non-profit organization, which creates sustainable jobs and relief by distributing shoes across the world. It aims to support small businesses that utilize new and gently-worn shoes to help women entrepreneurs generate income for their families in countries like Haiti. One pair of shoes sold can help a woman provide five meals for a family in need, 20 pairs can supply a year's worth of shelter and 30 pairs can initiate enough income to pay for one year of education for a child in need.
"New eyes is a service trip, while soles for souls is an on campus program that seeks to build change through giving back," said Lapointe.
- MLK Week of Service - Habitat for Humanity: On Saturday, Feb. 23 from 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m., students will have the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. This is a global non-profit housing organization that works in 1,400 communities across the United States and 70 countries around the world. The students that volunteer through this organization share the vision of creating strength, stability and self-reliance for those in need of a home. Although the volunteering opportunity is unavailable at the moment, students will have the option to pre-register in the future.
"Students will be volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, helping them prep or continue building a house for a family that will be receiving the house from Habitat for Humanity," Lapointe said.
- MLK Week of Service - Community Food Bank of NJ: On Saturday, Feb. 23 at 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., CLS will be partnering with The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, located in Hillside, NJ to fight the hunger and aid those who are food insecure.
"The Community FoodBank of NJ sorts through donated goods that will be given to people and families in need," said Lapointe.
- MLK Week of Service - Adopt a Park: On Saturday, Feb. 24 from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., students will be able to assist in the effort to clean and protect the Union County parks. Volunteers will remove debris and litter from the parks, restoring park area streams and fix fenced areas in the park community.
"Students will be volunteering in a park within the Union County Park System to clear any litter or debris that prevent plants from growing naturally," said Lapointe.
- Bernice's Place: On Thursday, Feb. 21 from 3 to 6 p.m. students will have the opportunity to help kids after school to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In doing so, children will write their dreams on a paper cloud to be displayed for everyone to see. The children will also be making their own Nobel peace prize and their plan for peace.
For more information on registration and events, students can call (908) 737-5170, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit MSC, Room 219.