Penn State Abington students didn’t use the lure of a day off from classes on Jan. 20 as an opportunity to sleep late. While some spent the Martin Luther King Day of Service assisting outside organizations in the Philadelphia region, one group marked the day by gathering in the Lares Building on campus and juggling multiple projects to benefit the neediest members of the community.
This year the students included those struggling with cancer and furry members of the family in their efforts, which included: -- making 800 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and delivering them to My Brother’s House, a men’s shelter in Philadelphia; -- crafting fleece scarves and assembling packs of supplies for the homeless; -- creating cards with supportive messages for newly diagnosed cancer patients; -- constructing fleece blankets, beds and toys for pets and delivering them to the Northeast Animal Rescue and other animal fostering agencies; -- sharing their personal insights on the impact King and service has on them personally and on the Abington community.
The day of service kicked off a blizzard-abbreviated Discover Service Week that included a visit from Raymond Gant, co-founder of Philadelphia's The Ray of Hope Project. Gant talked about the journey that ultimately led him and a friend to establish their green nonprofit, which rehabilitates the homes of low-income residents using only recycled materials and a volunteer workforce.