The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 21, 2013

Inspired by MLK Jr., MSSU students paint Stars of Hope for hurricane survivors


From staff reports

JOPLIN, Mo. — Students at Missouri Southern State University on Monday painted the first 100 of a planned 3,000 wooden Stars of Hope that will be sent this fall to East Coast communities damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The project was one of several service-oriented events coordinated by the MSSU Resource Development Center in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

“I signed up to volunteer,” said sophomore Brittany Beckett, who is in a service-learning class. “I wanted to encourage the idea of the school being involved in volunteer work.”

Other events included the 12th annual MLK celebration breakfast, featuring Bernard Franklin as the keynote speaker. Volunteers also worked with Rebuild Joplin, which hosted its own 24-hour rebuild project to coincide with the Day of Service.

Franklin, a motivational speaker from Kansas City, said he hoped to use King’s legacy to inspire others to service.

“An ordinary man who lived an ordinary life did something very extraordinary,” he said. “I just think it’s time for us to take a look at a man who in many ways brought the country together.”