Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day for celebration in the many communities of the United States. Students celebrate their chance to sleep and not have to go to school, while adults celebrate their off day from work. For some students at UIndy, it meant setting early alarms for a day of giving.
The day officially began at 10 a.m. in a room filled with white cloth tables. Blue and white liability forms sat on the table waiting to be filled out and traded in for hairnets. The room was quickly filled with families, friends, clubs, and other individuals. As strangers mingled and became friends, a video played in the background, presenting some lesser known facts of Dr. King. Before being excused to our stations, we were left with a quote from Dr. King: ‘What are you doing for others?’ For us, it meant partnering with Pack Away Hunger to make more than 53,000 meals for those living in poverty in Indiana.
Assembly lines formed with individuals of all ages and the making of the Nutri-Plenti began! We placed the ingredients in the bag, weighed to make sure they reached exactly 14 ounces, sealed them, packed them, and repeated. Around the room you could hear many shouts of excitement when the scale read 14 the ounces the first time. In our corner, you could hear two girls singing along to every song on the radio in the background, dancing around as they moved the boxes to the next station. This continued until the event concluded at twelve thirty. We then divided into groups: some stayed and cleaned up, some went to enjoy the lunch that was provided along with the service project, others lined up to take pictures. Then there were those who did all three.
As our table dug into their meal (which happened to be Martin Luther King Jr’s favorite), we began adiscussion on our lives and what we thought of the day. For some, it made the idea of malnutrition and hunger more real, knowing that even though we managed to complete over fifty thousand packages, it still wouldn’t be enough. For others, it restored some faith in humanity watching elementary students all the way up to graduate students, and faculty willing to give up their free time to take part in giving back to others.
Shannon Gaskin was born and raised in the heart of Indianapolis. She is a psychology and creative writing major at the University of Indianapolis. Shannon loves to spend her time eating, volunteering, singing, and writing.