Milligan College celebrates MLK Jr. Day with service projects

Published 3:27 pm Monday, January 15, 2018

When it comes to celebrating the life of one country’s pioneers of promoting service, students from Milligan College always know the proper way is to simply give back to others.
Approximately 200 students started the spring 2018 semester by volunteering throughout the community to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 15.
Throughout the day, students spent time participating in a variety of projects throughout the Tri-Cities, ranging from packing food, supporting construction projects and helping local charities and nonprofits with their mission of serving others.
“This day of service allows our students the chance to put our mission of preparing men and women to be servant leaders into action,” Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer said in a statement issued to the Elizabethton Star. “And it is a fitting way to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who modeled servant-leadership himself.”
A handful of Buffalos made their way to Good Samaritan Ministries, Inc., located in downtown Johnson City, to help the organization’s goal of ending poverty with various charitable services.
“Good Samaritan’s mission is to combat poverty and change lives,” said Pai Mushayamunda, Good Samaritan programs director. “We serve up to nine counties in different areas, which includes food, clothing and shelter.”
Mushayamunda is no stranger to Milligan’s work within the community. A graduate of the college, the director spoke about his time at school, including his sophomore year — where he first got introduced to Good Samaritan during a volunteer project. Seeing the passion on the faces of the students brought a smile to Mushayamunda.
“We really appreciate Milligan College’s partnership,” he said. “They are able to come here and work with us in different ways. I love working with the students because they’re passionate about serving the community. They just don’t serve to a specific capacity, they always go above and beyond. These are our future politicians, teachers and servant leaders. We want the students to feel empowered and know they’re making an impact in the community.”
Students working with Good Samaritan helped with serving food to the homeless, moving food to be used for the organization’s food pantry, organizing a “share closet” with clothing items and helping with the charity’s upcoming Easter program.
“We wouldn’t be able to do what we can without the support of the community,” Mushayamunda said. “Prayers are greatly appreciated. We also encourage people to advocate and let others know about the resources that are available here.”
The past few weeks have been busy, according to the director, with the recent cold stretch affecting individuals.
“There are always volunteer opportunities available,” he said. “For donations, anything from $1 for a meal to a coat for those struggling through the winter months.”
Individuals can visit for more information on how to get involved.
Milligan athletic teams spent time with Boones Creek Christian Church to help with a food distribution project to help residents of Haiti recover from Hurricane Matthew. Students also spent time at Camp Bays Mountain in Kingsport, Appalachian Service Project in Johnson City and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

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