Gannon University’s Student Government Association recently announced plans to further develop its existing relationship with the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, specifically with the children who participate in its programs.
Student Government Association President Luke King said that SGA is attempting to reflect the university’s strategic themes by strengthening the partnership between the MLK Memorial Center and SGA.
“In the past, we’ve included the MLK kids in the Homecoming parade,” King said.
“This year, we pinpointed how we can better fill the needs that the MLK Memorial Center provided us.”
According to its website, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center’s mission is to “improve the conditions of work, play, study, health and living conditions of the people of the City of Erie, Pennsylvania, and in particular those residents of the Bayfront area through an effective program of social services and action.”
In this way, SGA plans to help this Erie nonprofit organization expand its reach and further its goals through the sheer manpower of the SGA General Assembly.
In November, SGA will be conducting a coat drive for the children of the MLK Center.
“We are looking for donations of kid-size winter coats, hats and gloves,” King said.
According to King, many of the youngsters’ parents often have to make the decision to buy their child a winter coat versus a Christmas gift.
Because of this, SGA is hoping to alleviate the stress on the parents, and in upcoming years, they hope to include other clubs and organizations in the MLK partnership to help fill the other needs of the MLK Memorial Center.
In general, the MLK Center develops programs of cultural enrichment, economic development, housing, primary health care, neighborhood assistance, community services, crime prevention, recreation, employment and work referral or work-related programs, according to the MLK Center website.
The MLK Center has had a strong relationship with Gannon, taking part in community events throughout the year, and currently has recent Gannon alumni Shawn Hogue as its AmeriCorps VISTA worker.
King went on to mention that SGA has historically worked with the MLK Center for Homecoming events, and added that this coat drive was a natural extension of the existing partnership.
He said he hopes to capitalize on the mission and ministry of Gannon to aid those in the Erie community and help provide a support system in the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
This article by Michael Haas was originally published in The Gannon Knight on Oct. 9, 2013.