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ECU students volunteer for MLK Day Challenge

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Jan. 12, 2009)   —   For some students at East Carolina University, the Jan. 19 holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. won’t be a day of rest, but a day of service in which they remember and emulate the civil rights leader.

About 150 students will participate in the 2009 MLK Day Challenge. The annual event, organized by ECU’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, offers students the opportunity to volunteer with local non-profit organizations.

“Dr. King was all about bringing people together through service, and this is a way to honor that legacy and involve our students in community projects,” said Shawn Moore, ECU’s community partner coordinator. “We think it’s a really great way to engage the students.”

Students register online to participate in one of 14 projects. Among the good deeds they will do that day are preparing food items for distribution at the Food Bank at Greenville, packing care packages for deployed troops with Give to the Troops, moving mattresses and furniture at the Greenville Community Shelter and socializing dogs at the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina.

Some students will visit assisted living facilities – Red Oak, Tar River Manor, Spring Arbor and Sterling House – to do painting, landscaping and interact with residents. Others will assist at the Ronald McDonald House, Boys and Girls Club, Little Willie Center, RHA Howell Center, Hope Lodge and ECU’s ARAMARK Dining Services.

The event begins on campus with breakfast and an inspirational message. Students then take their own transportation to the sites to volunteer from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“It’s pretty incredible to get 150 kids to come out on their day off to help these organizations,” Moore said, adding that some students use the day to get to know local agencies and start volunteering on a regular basis. “This lets them dip their toe in the water,” she said.

Also planned for Martin Luther King Day are a candlelight vigil, march and tribute. The vigil begins in front of Belk Hall at 5:30 p.m. The march begins at 6 p.m. on College Hill and heads through main campus, where it ends with a tribute.

For more about the MLK Day Challenge, visit

ATTENTION EDITORS: Reporters and photographer are welcome to cover these events. For the MLK Day Challenge, contact Shawn Moore at 328-2735 or For the King tribute and march, contact Andrea Bristol at 328-5731 or


Contact: Shawn Moore | 252-328-2735