Mount Mercy students showcase community outreach during Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January, Mount Mercy students volunteered with local agencies dedicated to bettering the community through service and volunteerism. In all, more than 40 students volunteered in a variety of capacities, from mucking and gutting flooddamaged houses with the Block by Block program, to painting and remodeling the Aid to Women headquarters.

Mount Mercy coordinated its service efforts with AmeriCorps Vista volunteers, a partnership that has led to renewed outreach and more concentrated efforts to assist the community with flood recovery and other volunteer endeavors.

Seniors Matt Hakeman, Bob Jameson, Ashley Helle, and Meghan Stannard show off the progress they've made while tearing out floorboard in a flood-damaged house in northwest Cedar Rapids.

It’s a collaboration that has multiple benefits. “There are many partnerships that Mount Mercy has with organizations in the community,” says senior Matt Hakeman, from Williamsburg, Iowa, who helped volunteer in the flood zone. “They are also a great resource for career recommendations as we leave our undergrad schooling in search of our new lives.”

In addition to providing volunteers, Mount Mercy also served as host for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration ceremony. This year, the campus welcomed Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett and local NAACP chapter president Dedric Doolin as keynote speakers.

The day provided students with the perfect opportunity to live the College’s mission of service. “I am always looking for ways to serve, so the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of service was another opportunity for me to get involved,” says senior Ashley Helle, from Hiawatha, Iowa, who helped rip out floorboard in a flood-damaged house. “Mount Mercy is known for its dedication to service and leadership, and the students know that.” Junior Chantel LaPlante, from Chatfield, Minn., agrees. “Service is a core value of Mount Mercy, and the College does an excellent job of upholding that value.”