Students Volunteer for Martin Luther King Jr. Afternoon of Service


COVE led Colgate students in an afternoon of service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

On Friday, January 26, the Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE) sponsored an Afternoon of Service to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Week. 

Open to all Colgate students, faculty and staff, this event aimed to promote service as a way to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in addition to fostering active involvement in the local community.

Around 50 people signed up for the Afternoon of Service to volunteer at various community partner sites. 

Among other organizations, volunteers worked with the Utica Compassion Coalition to collect materials for underfunded schools and the Opera House to paint a gallery. 

Other volunteer sites included a local preschool, Sherborne’s Rogers Environmental Education Center, and the Morrisville Community Church. 

Senior Emmie McCaffery, an organizer for the event, hoped the Afternoon of Service would serve as a gateway to help Colgate students become active in social change. 

“It’s a chance to get students out and about in the community, to effect change and remember [Martin Luther King Jr.] and all former and current social, civil and human rights movements,” McCaffery said. “I hope that we can influence them to join more groups in the future and get more involved in the community.”

Though service has long been  an important part of her life and identity, senior participant Hope van Bree feels service can bond volunteers while improving the community. Van Bree volunteered with a church in Clinton for the Afternoon of Service.

“It’s a way that I came together with my community back home,” Van Bree said. “I think there are times when people need to come together, try to put themselves aside, to work together and work for someone else.” 

Senior Leslie Subaldo felt that her Afternoon of Service repainting the walls at the Earlville Opera House allowed her to get involved in the larger local community. Subaldo has also worked with a holiday program to donate Christmas gifts to needy families in Morrisville. 

“It’s very often that we get busy and stuck in our Colgate bubbles, and it’s nice to branch out and interact with the locals,” Subaldo said.

Contact Jenny Nguyen at [email protected].