George Fox volunteers join in annual MLK Day of Service in Portland Jan. 19

Martin Luther King Jr. - World Telegram & Sun photo by Dick DeMarsico

World Telegram & Sun photo by Dick DeMarsico

Students and staff from George Fox University will join the largest mobilization of college students serving on MLK Day – more than 1,000 in all – at the sixth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 19. George Fox hopes to bring at least 100 volunteers.

The event, organized by Oregon Campus Compact, begins and ends with rallies at Concordia University at 9 a.m. The day will be filled with opportunities to serve primarily in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland, Ore., until about 2 p.m. The Day of Service will be focused on the theme “Healthy Schools, Thriving Communities.”

As part of the day, volunteers will work on various volunteer projects with dozens of different community organizations in Northeast Portland. Teams will sort, clean and move donated items/books, and improve spaces by painting, deep cleaning, removing graffiti and doing outdoor projects like composting, pruning trees, removing invasive species and general landscaping.

The goal of the event is for college campuses to “come together unified in service to others, and taking part in embodying the ‘beloved community’ that Dr. King beckoned so many towards as a result of his Christ-centered vision and faith,” said Rusty St. Cyr, associate pastor of ministry and service at George Fox.

The Portland event ties into a national day of service. Initiated by Congress in 1994, Martin Luther King Day of Service builds on the civil rights leader’s legacy by transforming the federal holiday honoring him into a national day of community service grounded in his teachings of nonviolence and social justice.

Service is nothing new at George Fox. For 16 years the university has hosted Serve Day, when it closes school for one day in early September to send students and staff members out to surrounding communities to perform various volunteer projects. Last year, more than 2,000 Serve Day volunteers visited 102 sites in Portland and surrounding cities, serving in venues that included schools, churches, civic organizations and retirement homes.

To learn more about George Fox's involvement in the MLK Day of Service, contact St. Cyr at 503-554-2319.