Students keep busy Monday during USD Day Of Service

Students keep busy Monday during USD Day Of Service Although there were no classes at The University of South Dakota Monday, students, staff and community stayed busy. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day â�?�? and with the help of a grant from the North Carolina Campus Compact â�?�? approximately 130 volunteers donated their time to projects in the community. Tina Shantz, an Americorps Vista member working in USDâ�?�?s Center for Academic Achievement, said the day was perfect for this event. â�?�?In 1994, Congress actually declared Martin Luther King Day a day of service,â�? Shantz said. â�?�?So, we want people to understand that their acts of service are making a difference, and take that and run with it for the whole entire year. We want it to be a kick-off for events that might happen later on in the year, get them engaged now and then hope that they will continue on.â�? The dayâ�?�?s activities were enabled through a $2,500 grant set up to engage students and community members in a day of community service projects on the King holiday. The volunteers worked on a number of projects during the day including writing letters to soldiers, working with organizations such as Sharing the Dream and collection food donations for the Vermillion Food Pantry, Shantz said. â�?�?The MLK Day Challenge is a project new to South Dakota and has raised a great deal of interest from USD students as well as the community,â�? said Bobbi Jo McIntire, a member of the USD Students Enhancing Resources for Vermillion Enrichment organization on the executive planning committee stated before the event in a press release. â�?�?I am overwhelmed with excitement that I have the chance to be a part of something so great that is aimed at uniting so many people to aid their community while raising diversity awareness at the same time.â�? Pre-registration was not required to take part, Shantz said. Those who wished to volunteer Monday arrived at the Vermillion High School gym by 11 a.m. After the projects are finished between 4 and 6 p.m., Monday, volunteers met back in the gym back for a reception.

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