ANDERSON — To honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy, about 40 students and staff from Anderson University donated a few hours of their time Monday to various community organizations.

“We were just looking for some way, because of Dr. King’s legacy, to make an impact in the community,” said Becca Palmer, director of spiritual formation at AU.

The Christian Center, Willow Place and Park Place Community Center all received help from AU students and staff.

At Willow Place, volunteers performed various tasks, cleaning the restroom and sorting donations. The emergency women’s shelter in Anderson was founded about two years ago and is still building a volunteer base.

“We do appreciate any group that comes in and helps,” said Kay Martinez, residential dorm assistant at Willow Place.

Volunteers from AU always work efficiently and diligently when they help at Willow Place, according to Martinez.

“I just love their attitude and their willingness to serve,” she said. “We look forward to having any kind of group come in and do things like this.”

AU did not hold classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, enabling students to get involved with the various holiday events and programs in Anderson.

While many students decided to spend the day with friends or stay in the dorm or at home to study or relax, some AU students chose to volunteer their time Monday.

Emmanuel Garang, a freshman at AU, said he enjoys volunteering and serving the community.

“I want to see the community blossom. … I want to see Anderson grow and flourish,” said Dillion Lockwood, residential director and graduate student at AU.

Junior social work major Erica Smatlak said she volunteers because she enjoys any opportunity to use her skills to help other people.

According to Palmer, students at AU are not required to log service hours. But as a Christian university, AU values service among the community.

Follow Kylee Mullikin on Twitter

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