Aurora, Lisle students to serve others on MLK Day

As part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Monday, Jan. 16, Aurora and Lisle students will give a day of service at Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry.

Volunteers from Metea Valley High School in Aurora and students from Benedictine University in Lisle will serve from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the pantry, 1110 Jericho Road in Aurora.

Rebecca Dunnigan, pantry community impact manager, said a weekly pantry distribution is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At Aurora University, an interfaith conversation about Dr. King's vision of the beloved community will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action, 430 S. Evanslawn Ave. Co-sponsors are the center and AU Campus Life office.

Refreshments will be served.

Also, on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 18-19, the public is invited to contribute reflections about the beloved community to MLK vision boards.

The boards will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at AU's Crimi Auditorium information desk in the Institute for Collaboration, 1347 Prairie St. in Aurora.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

In 1994, Congress passed a bill to dedicate the national holiday as a national day of service.

The King Holiday and Service Act was introduced by Congressman John Lewis and Senator Harris Wofford, both of whom had worked alongside Dr. King in civil rights activism.

On Aug. 23, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act, expanding the mission of the holiday as a day of community service, interracial cooperation and youth anti-violence initiatives.

"A day on, not a day off," is the theme.

Dr. King's widow, Coretta Scott King, said, "The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others."

Learn more about volunteering for the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry at

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