“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’” -Martin Luther King, Jr. This quote is directly related to the mission of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Each January, as a three-day weekend wraps up, about 800 students from CUA go out into the city to do service. Service is an integral part of your experience here at Catholic University. I personally am always so astonished to see the vast amounts of young people who do service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to honor such an amazing historical and important figure. On a Monday when many students across the country choose to just sleep in and be happy that there are no classes, hundreds of CUA students do service throughout Washington, D.C.. and really make a difference in the lives of others. To me, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is one of the days that reminds me how lucky I am to be a Catholic University student. This year there was no shortage of enthusiasm or students to help get the various jobs done.
The day begins nice and early at around 9am when students all gather for breakfast and prayer before splitting into various service groups. Service teams this year did anything from picking up trash on the National Mall to spending quality time with residents in local nursing homes. Most student organizations and sports teams partake in the Day of Service, further building their bonds of teamwork and friendship. It truly is an amazing way to give back to the Washington, D.C., community. I know I always feel a renewed sense of empowerment to give back to the community after a day of service. Once the service is complete for the day, all students gather back on campus for lunch and a reflection on the day. It’s always nice to have these conversations with other students and it is always encouraging. A lot of people are inspired by the places they go to help and often commit to long term service at that location. It is really a win-win for all parties involved.
The best thing about the MLK Day of Service is that this is not just something that CUA does. This is a national day of service, when people all across the nation are giving back and making a difference. The national slogan is “make it a day on, not a day off” which I personally think is awesome. The slogan is so meaningful because unfortunately many people do think of it as just a three-day weekend. Thankfully, students at CUA and individuals all across the nation know it means much more. It is always amazing to see so many people gathered for the common good of the city- and it’s even more amazing to know that these are college students from my university who so selflessly give back to others.
– Lexie Mayewski