A Day On is the New Day Off

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” That question continues to permeate through time with the designation of Martin Luther King Jr. National Federal Holiday every January. This year, Oglethorpe University responded to that question en force. Over one hundred Petrels traveled to five different service sites across Metro-Atlanta to make it A Day On, Not A Day Off! We caught up with some of the service day Team Captains to ask them a few questions about their experience.

Kaley Lackey
CCE Team Captain
Kaley Lackey

1. What does the phrase “A Day On, Not A Day Off!” mean to you in relation to the federal MLK Day Holiday?“This phrase means that we shouldn’t rest simply because classes aren’t in session. We should use this opportunity to make a difference and work towards bettering the community we’re in. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is one of serving in all circumstances. He pushed his vision and committed to his work every day of the week, which is why we must serve. We must continue to work even if the day is considered an “off day”.”
– Olivia Roberson

“To me, a day on not a day off means to take advantage of some free time that we have as busy individuals to uphold Dr. King’s legacy by giving back to the community that he spent his life improving.”
– Kaley Lackey

2. What kind of a legacy did MLK leave and why do you think that drives individuals to volunteer in his name?
“MLK left a legacy of advocacy for underserved communities. He did not limit his idea of progress to the civil rights movement, although that was his hallmark initiative. MLK wanted people to be champions for each other, striving over time to secure equality for all people and spread love across the planet.”
– Brad Firchow

“Dr. King left a legacy that is timeless. It is still talked about today and will always have an impact on society. I think this legacy drives individuals to volunteer in his name because we all desire an opportunity to thank him for the amazing impact that he made in this nation and specifically the Atlanta area.”
– Kaley Lackey

Bradley Firchow
CCE Scholar Bradley Firchow

Olivia Roberson
CCE Scholar Olivia Roberson
3. Why do you serve on MLK Day and what has been one of your highlight experiences?

“I serve on MLK Day because I want to. I feel drawn to service and to fulfilling a need in my community. This year I volunteered at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with Phi Delta Epsilon. We spent the afternoon with pediatric cancer patients, and I would not have wanted to spend it anywhere else. I loved seeing the fire in those kids’ eyes and their love of life despite their situation.”
– Brad Firchow

“I continue to serve on MLK Day because I understand that consistency brings results. One of my best experiences was leading at Blue Herron because I was able to lead a large group while also understanding environmental issues and how our impact on nature is also impacting our personal lives.”
– Olivia Roberson

Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his life in the pursuit of a brighter tomorrow. He showed us that a vast amount of small actions can lead to a huge change. So, as we all make our little bit of difference through days of service like this, we are helping to move the world forward towards a better tomorrow. Nescit cedere.
Oglethorpe University MLK Day of Service 2017.

Written by Max Hannon, Marketing Student Assistant for the Center for Civic Engagement