Service projects honor King

Missouri Southern students joined forces with the Joplin Fire Department to pay tribute to a man who changed thousands of lives.

Several activities were planned for each day throughout the week.  “I could fill three pages with all the events we organized,” says Rikki Smith, coordinator of the Service Learning program.

The week began on January 14 with a Smart Mod concerning fire safety.  Southern students and the Joplin Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network worked to heighten knowledge of fire safety in Joplin neighborhoods.  “The Smart Mob was created during the Extreme Home Makeover events and it worked so well that we decided to create a MLK Smart Mob,” says Smith.  The Smart Mob is said to be ‘a flash mob with a cause.’

“We canvased high risk areas in Joplin,” says Smith.  “Our list was provided by the Joplin Fire Department.”

Students went door to door discussing fire safety procedures, the need for an exit plan, and passing out smoke detectors and batteries for the homes that needed them.  The education was taken a step further with a visit to The Independent Living Center.  Students educated older Americans through activities and games.  

Monday, Jan. 16, was dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.  The activities began at 7 a.m. with the 11th annual Celebration Breakfast.  

The day continued in Corley Auditorium with a speech from Rev. Sam Nero, pastor at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Joplin.  

The documentary New York Says Thank You was also shown periodically throughout the day in Phelps Theater.  

Admission to the documentary was free; however, canned foods were accepted for donation.

 Thursday included a History Channel documentary over life of MLK held in the Phelps Theater.  The week concluded on Friday with a Reflection Ceremony in Connor Ballroom.  This was an event to honor MLK and all the work he did throughout his life.  

Art Feeds, a nonprofit organization in Joplin, also hosted a campus art project in Billingsly Student Center in honor of MLK week.  Their goal was to enhance awareness through the use of art.