In 4th grade, I went to a friend’s house on Martin Luther King Day. When I walked in the door, my friend’s dad joked, “This is going to be great! I have a lot of different books and newspaper articles about Martin Luther King that we can look at for hours!” I laughed, but the truth was I never really took a lot of time on the day off to really think about why we celebrate Martin Luther King, or the impact that he had and how he inspired so many others to do so much good. This year, that changed when I went to the MLK Day of Service hosted by Ohio State.
The flyer for the Day of Service. Photo credit: Pay it Forward OSU Twitter
The MLK Day of Service is put on by Pay It Forward, which gives students community service opportunities in Ohio State and throughout Columbus. The Day of Service is one of their largest events of the year, with over 1,000 people participating. Some groups are bussed off campus where they do activities like shelve food at a food pantry. I was in one of the groups that stayed on campus, and we prepared materials for Girls on the Run, an organization that instills confidence in young girls and teaches them healthy living skills. It was really cool to see what the girls learn about and the methods the coaches use to improve their daily lives. Girls on the Run relies on volunteers to do a lot of work because they have few full-time employees, so it was great to be a part of that process!
After the Day of Service, I worked at the Smith-Steeb blood drive and then made my own donation. I’ve
mentioned before my support for giving blood, and I was glad enough time had passed for me to donate again and pay it forward with Martin Luther King in mind.