Marshall University students hold community cleanup to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Marshall MLK Day celebration held in Huntington
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 2:04 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Marshall University students and faculty picked up trash along the streets of Huntington Monday. It’s their way of honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by having their own day of service.

It started with breakfast at Real Life Christian Center Church on Ninth Avenue.

“To commemorate the MLK Day, we are doing a community clean up, sponsored by the NAACP,” said Pastor Charles Shaw. “We’ll be making a clean up from Eighth Avenue to 10th Avenue, and from 20th Street to 28th Street.”

Students from many different groups and organizations gathered to clean up the community together. Student athletes, Greek life, and professors giving back to remember why they get a day off of classes.

“This is cool. I don’t think anyone is disappointed about coming here or angry, this is a good day,” said Marshall Kappa Sigma Fraternity President Gabriel Little. “All of these guys are excited, and it’s nine in the morning. It’s freezing outside, and I’m just having a good day. It’s like you can go the rest of the day knowing I did some good today.”

There are many ways to commemorate MLK Day, but the group says serving others just feels like the right way to do it.

“We should never forget the service and the things Martin Luther King did for our country, for our community, for all of our people,” said Pastor Shaw. “When we do that, it keeps it fresh in our minds in put it into generations not only seniors like myself, but also the younger people will know and appreciate what has already been done. I think it breaks the walls down, and we have to keep doing that.”

Huntington Police Chief Karl Colder will give a keynote speech for a celebration dinner at 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Event organizers say the city’s first black chief has a passion for justice, unity and service and his dedication to the community is reflective of King’s ideas.

That dinner will be in the Marshall Memorial Student Center and is open to the public.