By Mariela Limon |Staff Writer|
CSUSB students give back to the community on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Central City Lutheran Mission (CCLM) in San Bernardino.
The event, organized by Community-University Partnership, along with the Office of Housing and Residential Life’s Getting Involved in Volunteer Experiences (G.I.V.E.), Black Scholars Hall, Student African American Brotherhood, Student African American Sisterhood and Hispanic Scholars; welcomed students to join CSUSB members for a day of serving those who are in need.
“For us, it is super important because nonprofits are already understaffed, and when someone comes in, it saves us days of work,” said Maria Medina, Chief Operating Officer of CCLM.
The organized event helped CCLM with serving food to the homeless, painting, and landscaping.
“They were able to empty out our pantries and put everything back in order by item,” said Medina.
Those who attended this years event realized how much need there is in the city of San Bernardino and how big of an impact one day of service can have on the community. “They happen to be here when we did our lunch hour and they saw the need,” said Medina.
In a day that is used to remember Martin Luther King Jr., CSUSB hoped that, “This national holiday empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community,” according to the MLK Day of Service flyer.
“The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans…to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems through citizen involvement and action,” said Bryant Fairley, Associate Director of Community-University Partnerships and Service Learning
While some students were helping out in the kitchen and cleaning, others “took an inventory list for us, of how many items we have and put them in order of expiration date,” said Medina
According to their website CCLM is, “A unique community-based organization dedicated to serving the poor. While having a heart for the most vulnerable and undeserved populations…our programs serve adults, youth and children throughout the neighborhood.”
CCLM also offers services for education and health. They offer hot food, pantry food distribution, healthcare, housing and transportation for patients who are HIV positive, empowerment programs, and church services for all community members in need.
“Thanks for bringing such a great group of energetic students to serve at the mission today. You were able to help us get at some work that has been waiting for too long,” said Pastor David Nager.
The help that students offered was appreciated by the staff of CCLM.