This event encourages students to assess community needs and increase their understanding of social justice issues. Classes are canceled at Otterbein in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but while some students choose a day-off to be at home with their families or relax in their residence halls, others choose a day-ON to celebrate with service in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Otterbein students, staff and faculty, as well as members of the Westerville community (youth, adults and seniors), take part in service project stations and activities at the Westerville Community Center.
The service project stations are planned and run by teams of community volunteers, including volunteers from Otterbein. The service projects are appropriate for all community members and aimed to foster intergenerational relationships. Past project include unique projects like Warm Hearts, Warm Blankets; Strike a Chord for Kids; and Love Luggage, among others.
Warm Hearts, Warm Blankets is a project designed to provide warmth for children living in orphanages in Sri Lanka through the creation of fleece tie blankets. Strike a Chord for Kids encourages volunteers to embrace their inner musician and create traditional African and Middle Eastern instruments. The instruments were then used by Central Ohio youth participants in a student-led service organization through Otterbein. Love Luggage invites volunteers to paint donated luggage with messages of hope for local foster children.
Another unique project, A Child's Eye View, captured the events of Westerville's annual MLK Breakfast and the service projects from a child's point of view. Ten middle school students from the Westerville City Schools were given digital cameras and video cameras to take pictures and videos from their own particular view.