What are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2022
Centenary honors Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy the same way he lived his life, by investing in others.
In 1957, Dr. King said to an audience in Montgomery, Alabama, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
Since our founding in 1867, service to others has been a core principle at Centenary. We are proud that service is an integral part of our culture and our values. Community engagement, on campus and in the greater Skylands region, reinforces principles of selflessness, leadership, and engagement in our students.
Simple acts of kindness and service have the power to transform lives. Communities who work together build a shared resilience and strength. And a community who supports its members, especially the most vulnerable, becomes a force for change.
While the pandemic has greatly impacted our university and the communities to which we belong, it has allowed us to refocus on our most vital missions – to prepare students for regional and global professions of critical thought and purposeful action with a supportive environment immersed in a culture of service.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is designated as a National Day of Service. As we continue to navigate the intricacies of higher education during a pandemic, we remind our campus that Martin Luther King’s legacy is about more than just a single day of service. It is really about what we do for others as we live our lives every day.
In honor of Dr. King, we not only encourage our students to participate in virtual service but ask them to consider the day just the first step of a commitment to service throughout the semester.
Due to evolving challenges presented by COVID-19, in person, campus service opportunities on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day are limited. If you are able, please consider donating to Soles 4 Souls (donation box under the stairs outside of Starbucks), the Centenary SAC Food & Toiletry Shelves, or the Trinity Church Food Pantry.
Virtual Service Opportunities
Letters Against Isolation – Send an isolated senior a letter, drawing, or photo to brighten their day.
The Key Idea – Participate in a national conversation that collects stories, drawings, pictures, and photos to help prove Maya Angelou’s poem, “We are more alike my friend than we are unalike.”
There are two topic options:
The Keys to the American Dream – Share your stories about the American Dream, the belief that anyone can attain their own version of success in a society where achievement is possible for everyone. Attach, draw, or trace a key on a 4×6 or 6×6 piece of paper and share your dream, plans to achieve your dream, or the keys to your success.
Keys to Coping (COVID) – Share courage, resiliency, humor, compassion with others as we all continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Photos, drawings or stories on a should be the size of a postcard, you may submit the original or an electronic version.
We will submit all Centenary contributions together, please email submissions to Kathleen.Greco@CentenaryUniversity.edu or drop off submissions in the box outside the Community Engagement office in Student Life by WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26.
Connecting With Humanity – An online platform for youth and their allies to foster genuine connections, promote human rights, share stories of resiliency, and advocate for a new era of peace, justice, and global solidarity. They are looking for students to serve as content creators, committee members, outreach help and more. Please click here to apply.
Horizon Covid Network – An organization dedicated to tackling the senior loneliness epidemic by connecting a diverse body of students to our elderly population. Two core aspects of the organization are service and outreach, and they need highly dedicated volunteers in the New Jersey area to help expand the organization.
As an outreach officer, you will send emails to senior centers/nursing homes/retirement centers and encourage volunteer interest in the organization. If you are interested in applying, visit covidnetworks.org, click on operations in the top right, click on the New Jersey, scroll to the bottom, and fill out the form applicable to you.
Become a virtual companion: If you are interested in volunteering with Horizon Covid Networks as virtual companion to an older adult, please fill out this form to apply.
With a deep focus on the ideals of a holistic education, Career Development and Community Engagement ignites student potential through involvement in the community that is intended to spark personal, institutional, and community change.
Centenary University Community Engagement seeks to prepare students for the professional world through service. Read more about why we do what we do: Cyclone Corner Blog
We encourage our students to engage in project based service that will add transferable workplace skills to their resume. Many students are uncertain about their direction, and our goal is to connect them with experiences in the community that will help them find their niche before they graduate. Centenary mandates a graduation requirement of ten volunteer service hours for all traditional undergraduate students in order to promote student development. The Office of Community Engagement is available to support students in completing their requirement through a variety of initiatives.
The Leaders in Service program is a cohort for students who want to be engaged on campus and in their community while preparing for their future careers. Leaders in Service students complete 40 hours of service each academic year, which includes personal projects tailored to their interests, monthly group service activities, and leadership development activities. All members receive project mentorship through the Office of Community Engagement and a certificate for completing a year in the program.
All Centenary students have the opportunity to participate in a week of service with their peers during spring break. A variety of locations are available each year. In the past groups have served in Hackettstown, the greater New Jersey area, and abroad.
Every month during the school year a group of students and staff travel to Manhattan to distribute resources to people experiencing homelessness. This program is run in collaboration with our long time community partner Midnight Run, and our efforts are supported through generous donations from the local and university community. This eye opening experience is something every Centenary student should participate in at least once.
Centenary observes three National Days of Service: September 11th, MLK Day, and Make a Difference Day. Programming and service opportunities are available to all of campus through the Office of Community Engagement in honor of these days.
Centenary offers a variety of service learning courses every semester related to many disciplines, all with a community service activity built into the class. This will help students make real life connections between their classroom work and the needs of the community, turning academic work into a meaningful way to contribute to the broader society. To see what Service Learning courses are offered this semester, visit the Service Learning web page.
Report Service Hours
If you are a current Centenary student, click here to report community service hours.
For students who wish to volunteer on their own, we suggest the following resources.
Volunteermatch.org. Aims to strengthen communities by making it easier to find good causes.
Jerseycares.gov. Connects you with volunteer opportunities in NJ, with a focus on local causes.
Serviceyear.org. Opportunities for those who want to commit to a of year of volunteer service.