January 16, 2023 : By Jacob Couch - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
On Monday, around 150 Liberty University students participated in the university’s second annual MLK Day of Service, a new tradition where students spend the holiday serving their community.
Students volunteered at eight different sites across the Lynchburg area: World Help, Gleaning for the World, the downtown Lynchburg YWCA, Campbell County YWCA, Habitat for Humanity, Downtown Lynchburg Association, Salvation Army, and Amazement Square.
Participants were fed lunch on campus before boarding buses to their service sites, where they worked from 1-4:30 p.m. Projects included power washing, raking leaves, mopping and sweeping floors, and beautifying properties.
“Liberty students have such a servant’s heart and work ethic,” LU Serve Director Lew Weider said. “I am so proud of how they serve our community with love and kindness. They truly make an eternal difference.”
“Our students turned out for Liberty University’s second MLK Day of Service in a big way,” said Shon Muldrow, Senior Vice President of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. “We are proud of the 100-plus students who showed up to support Lynchburg’s local organizations that give to our community daily. Jesus told us that He came to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. There is nothing more biblical or unifying than serving our neighbors in the cause of Christ, and our students are doing just that.”
Freshman theology and apologetics student Andrew Caldwell, who served at the Salvation Army, shared how impactful it is to see his fellow students’ desire to apply their biblical worldview education in their community.
“From what I’ve seen so far at Liberty, people want to serve and help others,” he said. “The fellowship and spiritual life you get here is priceless.”
Over the course of each year, Liberty students volunteer over 400,000 hours through Christian Community Service (CSER) and LU Serve events.
Sophomore psychology student Megan Phillips volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and said that growing up as a child of missionaries instilled a love for serving that she is thankful to see shared among the Liberty community.
“I have always really liked serving, and as I grew up in Kenya as a missionary kid, we would go out into the (Kenyan) community and serve the people around us,” she said. Phillips fulfills her CSER requirement by serving throughout the semester at Habitat for Humanity.
Senior business communications student Santiago Frank worked alongside Phillips and their fellow classmates at Habitat for Humanity, cleaning floors and cleaning home appliance parts that the organization’s store, ReStore, will make available to the community at affordable prices.
“I think today is a very obvious display that we are here to serve the community and not just be something that is in it,” he said.
Frank said that before traveling to their service site, LU Serve and Liberty’s Office of Equity and Inclusion informed them about the purpose of why they are serving on a day that some of the country takes off school and work.
“Growing up I always had the day off, but before starting the day of service today they described that this is what this day is meant to be: serving the community,” he said.
>>Read an article by Shon Muldrow on CBN, “Remembering MLK and Civil Rights, the Gospel Calls Us to Sacrifice and Serve.”