The Daily Gamecock

MLK Day of Service unites campus through community-wide event

More than 500 Gamecocks set to gather,

aid residents, organizations on free day

There are no classes Monday, but USC students will participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Students will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Russell House and then serve Columbia’s nonprofit organizations. According to Michelle Peer, program advisor for Community Service Programs, students will go to 27 organizations and places in the local community, which is an increase from last year’s 19 sites. Organizers also expect an increase in the number of volunteers. There were 450 participants last year, and this year 515 people are expected.
The event reached its maximum capacity for volunteers. If students still want to volunteer but have not registered, they can arrive at the Russell House Monday morning and sign up to be placed on a waiting list. If any spots become available around 9:50 a.m., then volunteers from the waiting list will be placed.
Volunteers will travel to a variety of places such as the Harvest Hope Food Bank, the Free Medical Clinic and an elderly woman’s home to work in yards.
“Students of all majors, ages and cultures, in addition to faculty and staff, are encouraged to participate in honor of the great work of Dr. King to make our nation a better place for every individual,” according to USC’s Website.
According to, a federal holiday was created in 1983 honoring King’s birthday and was first observed in 1986. Congress deemed the holiday a national day of service in 1994. Peer said the day has seen success at USC as a way for participants to get outside of the University and into the community. She said students gain a sense of accomplishment from benefitting the community and realizing the difference an individual can make.
“I think it’s a very uplifting event that gives the opportunity for students to learn about the value of service,” Peer said.