JACKSON, Tenn. – Jan. 18, 2005 – Sarah Thompson was only in Jackson for a wedding over the weekend. A graduate student at Union University who lives in San Francisco, Thompson isn’t even taking a class on campus during Union’s January term.
But that didn’t stop her from volunteering at Birth Choice, a local woman’s resource center, on Monday.
“I loved Union so much that I came for a wedding and decided that while I was here I would come and serve,” Thompson said. “That’s what Union does to you. It makes you want to help. I could have hung out with friends today, but I chose to come here – because this is better, anyway.”
Thompson was just one of the volunteers from Union University who participated in service projects Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. In addition to a team at Birth Choice that painted and did electrical work, Monday afternoon a second team of students spent time playing bingo with the elderly residents at Jackson’s Mission Convalescent Center.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an individual who made a significant impact on this country,” Union president David Dockery said. “Service projects such as these are an excellent way for us as a university to honor Dr. King’s legacy, and they are also a means for us to show our commitment to racial reconciliation, both on our campus and in our community.”
An annual event, the service projects were organized by Union’s Campus Ministries office.
“They know that Birth Choice is a non-profit organization, so they always need any kind of volunteer help they can get,” said Glenna Marshall, who led the team that worked at Birth Choice. “Campus Ministries wanted to do this in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. – be a servant to the community. It’s an honor to do some community service like this.”
Callie Cox, the activities coordinator at the Mission Convalescent Center in east Jackson, said the residents there always appreciate visits from students.
“It’s nothing like people think a nursing home is going to be,” Cox said. “The residents here love to laugh and talk with you.”