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CU Students Participate in MLK Day of Service

LAWTON Okla_ While many folks decided to take advantage of a day off from work or school Monday, a group of Cameron students dedicated themselves to making today a day on instead of a day off.

Monday was the National Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, and it brought out over 200 Cameron students to various agencies across Lawton. They spent their day painting, repairing, organizing or cleaning, to help out local organizations like the Food Bank and the Boys and Girls Club.

The students were all inspired by the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and they wanted to honor him by showing up today and lending a hand. On a day that celebrates the dream one man had to see a more unified United States, 200 volunteers flooded the community to remind everyone of the power of a little positive action.

"I've seen people all over town today," CU student Cassie Stanga said, "And I know they're volunteering at places. I'm like, 'Wow, this is really cool', because a lot of people have actually come together. A lot of people are doing a whole bunch of different things."

Whether these volunteers were painting, organizing the Lawton Food Bank or collecting donations at a local grocery store, they said they were inspired by the legacy Dr. King left with us.

"It gives the idea that every single individual plays a really big part in a really big world," CU student Akinola Akinilwan said.

On a chilly day when sleeping in might have sounded really appealing, these students chose service over sleep.

"It's just really important to me," CU student Jacie Tarno said. "We have extra time, and we were going to have class anyway today. So, why not help the community instead of go to class?"

The volunteers today all agreed: a little bit goes a long way. Every bit of service, no matter how small, adds up to become a beautiful big picture. It wasn't just college students vowing to make a difference. The Boys and Girls Club was filled with kids lending a helping hand. 15-year-old Daniela jumped on the opportunity to make today a day on, instead of a day off.

"I like community service," Daniela said. "I feel bad for those kids that don't have it all. So, I want to help."

As the volunteers reflected on one man's dream for this country, they also thought about their own dreams for this community.

"I want positive change and unity," Stanga said. "I think that brings a community together a lot."

"I want people more to reach out and help others rather than be self-centered all the time," Tarno said.

"My dream is pretty much the one voice," Akinilwan said, "Where people, without race or creed, can come together and get things finished. They can help the world become a better place."

Food Bank Director Jeri Mosiman said she had a dream, too. She said her dream is that one day she'd be forced to shut her doors, that there would be no need for a Food Bank in Lawton, because everyone would be well fed.




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