ECU holds its annual MLK Day of Service

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — East Carolina University coordinators were happy with the results of Saturday’s annual Martin Luther King Day of Service.

Instead of a day off, students at ECU were doing a day of work to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They say it’s a way to give back and help their community.

“It is our way of remembering Dr. King and his legacy,” said Alex Dennis, assistant director at ECU’s Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement.

ECU students banded together to perform service acts around the east. It’s a part of the MLK Day of Service that has been happening at the school for nearly two decades.

“Typically, we do this on MLK Day but because our semester started a week later, we had to have some time for our students to register, so that is why we are doing it (Saturday),” said Dennis.

Students said the delay in this year’s event did not deter them from wanting to come out and help.

“Today for our MLK Day of Service this is the arena we chose. We have different students in different locations. Some are doing gardening; some are doing street cleanups. We are all just trying to find individual ways to giving back,” said ECU Senior Corey Ballance Jr.

They said it is a way for them to show unity as a student body and connect with each other. Students are offered different activities in which they can do, benefitting assisted living facilities and other community causes.

“We are utilizing different spaces in the Student Center to do projects for facilities that can’t take volunteers right now so we have two sites here in the student center where they are making Valentine cards and door signs to facilities here in Greenville,” said Dennis.

Students were also given the chance to create art to benefit their purple pantry: a food bank for students.

“It needs to be spruced up some with some decor, so we have a group next door who are doing some paintings and some canvas to go up to decorate that space,” said Dennis.

Overall, the students said they are just happy to be making a difference.

“I think events like this, programs like this really are conducive to the change not only in East Carolina but just in the world in general so just being able to be in that place where we can come together and serve a greater cause is pretty incredible,” said Ballance Jr.

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