Although Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is a holiday from classes for Penn State students, many Penn State Abington students have chosen to take the day to pitch in, helping those who need assistance as a way of honoring King's dream.
As part of that effort, many student volunteers met today in room 108 of the Lares Building and made more than 1,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for delivery to My Brother's House, a homeless shelter for men in Philadelphia.
Another group of student volunteers joined Jose Rodriguez, coordinator of intercultural affairs, and traveled to Philadelphia to assist nonprofit organization ACHIEVEability repair and paint the home of a family in need. ACHIEVEability's mission is "to permanently break the cycle of poverty for many single-parent, low-income families, many formerly homeless, through education, supportive services, community and economic development, housing and accountability." Everything they do is geared to moving families to self-sufficiency.
By participating in these volunteer opportunities, the Penn State Abington students worked to live up to King's famous quote, "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."
"I just say, why not? Sure, I could spend my day hanging out with friends and relaxing, but that's not progressive," said sophomore Brianda Freistat, president of Community Outreach Workers, a student organization. "Helping others? That makes a day worthwhile."