Students and local residents participated in the university’s third annual Martin Luther King (MLK) Day of Service Monday.
The service day gives local residents and even young children the opportunity to volunteer time and energy into helping the local community.
“We start with an idea that students have the responsibility to become informed and engaged citizens,” explained Bryan Murdock, the director of the Center for Community Engagement. “Part of [students’] education at Montclair State is learning their roles and responsibilities as citizens.”
Volunteering with the local fire department to promote fire safety to nearby residents began the day’s numerous activities. The deputy chief of the Montclair Fire Department, John Herman, commented on the importance of this exercise: “It gives us the ability to reach more people and get the word out about fire safety.”
Volunteers traveled door-to-door around Montclair Township distributing bags to residents filled with papers containing information packets detailing the “ifs” and “whens” of a possible fire. A few local politicians, such as Montclair Mayor Robert D. Jackson, Deputy Mayor Bill Hurlock and Third Ward Councilor Sean Spiller also stopped by the Fire Department to thank the volunteers.
“I’m here because I want to give back,” junior Anibal Hernandez explained.
Other organizations participating in the MLK Day of Service were Residence Life, the Center for Student Involvement and Community Engagement, Chartwells, the University Bookstore, Parking Services and grocery stores such as Acme, Fairway, Kings and ShopRite.
“They know to help the community and generally help out,” said Bonner Leader AmeriCorps program member Simon Madolid.
Other service opportunities included working with children and the elderly, writing cards to those serving in the military, participating in food and toiletry drives, and helping adults with developmental disabilities.