On Martin Luther King Day, many organizations and charities live out Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with a day of service. New Jersey Commission for National and Community Service Chairman Anthony Campbell told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that volunteers around the state participate in various activities.
“We have about 700 volunteers across the state that participate in all sorts of activities from education, environmental protection, working with students to help develop reading skills, literacy skills, working with the soup kitchens, that type of mission,” said Campbell. “So our mission today is to really enhance the state and really work according to Dr. King’s motto of everyone can be great because everyone can serve.”
During his life, King spoke about his dream for the country and according to Campbell what the AmeriCorp volunteers do is provide hope. Through volunteer services and activities, volunteers go out and work with students. Volunteers can mentor students and allow them to see opportunities that they might not have had before.
“Service is the selfless act of giving of yourself and when we are doing service, you get more out of it from the people you serve than you ever put in. It really is an amazing experience,” Campbell said.
Campbell said that service is now necessary more than ever. For example, after school programs within urban communities are being sustained with volunteers. During the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, volunteers created a culture of service in the state, according to Campbell, as about 1.3 million volunteered and helped with recovery. Campbell said about $36 million was created with Sandy restoration.
Campbell said that in New Jersey, there is a culture of service and there are always people banding together and helping each other. He said volunteering is visible among college students, at high schools, the senior service core and churches.
“You see it every day — people wanting to serve. Yes, we have enough volunteers and we could always use more,” said Campbell.