More than 10 students and staff from Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) dedicated their time on Jan. 15 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to prepare and serve meals for more than 200 families at the St. James UCC Church in Allentown. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is noted as the annual day of service by the Office of Student Life, an ongoing tradition that focuses on community service. The event featured a Thanksgiving-themed luncheon and remarks from special guest Thomas F. Parker, superintendent of the Allentown School District.
Parker spoke in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his role as one of the leaders of the civil rights movement, which defined a crucial part in American history.
For Katelynn Kravatz, sophomore kinesiology major, Martin Luther King Jr. Day means to pay it forward recognizing the impact one can make in the lives of many.
“Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day of giving back to the community and remembering just how much influence you have on others,” said Kravatz. “It’s not just about the lives of all your family and friends, but the lives of all the people surrounding you on a daily basis.”
Kravatz, who spent the morning preparing and serving meals with her fellow students reflected upon the significance of volunteering and what it means to her.
“Volunteering is very special to me. It is something I love to do and I believe it shouldn't be something that people have to think about or consider a requirement, it should be instinctual for people to help others in need. I know that if I was in anyone else's shoes I would be grateful to anyone that tried to help me, so I strive to be that person in every situation,” said Kravatz.