Bay Path University will mark the national day of service honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by holding a community resource drive on Saturday, January 22. The University will be collecting much needed supplies, such as diapers, non-perishable food, toilet paper, paper towels, and children’s books, hats, mittens and scarves for distribution to local agencies.
Donations will be accepted on the Longmeadow campus from 9:00 to noon, with a contact-free, drive-through exchange. Student, faculty and staff volunteers will be on hand to gather and sort donated items, which will be distributed to local organizations Christina's House, Springfield Rescue Mission, Longmeadow Food Pantry and Link to Libraries.
“Participating in a day of service gives us a great opportunity to honor Martin Luther King, while also carrying his legacy forward by actively working to bring about justice, dignity and change,” says Bay Path president Sandra Doran.
Between October 2016 and September 2017, 5,273 people in Hampden County experienced homelessness. This number includes 1,384 individuals and 3,889 persons in families and has likely grown since that data was collected.
“We’re all a team,” says Linda Mumblo, president and founder of Christina’s House, a transitional home for mothers and children. “Our community works together, and these donations will help prepare new houses for families and help us continue to provide hope and healing.”
Mumblo cites the ongoing need for new, unopened crib sheets, changing table covers and sippy cups for the residents of Christina’s House.
“Part of Bay Path’s mission is to empower our students and enable them to see themselves as agents of change. We give them the tools they need to make a difference in their own lives, and in turn, the communities they are a part of,” Doran explains. “We’re deeply embedded in the non-profit, healthcare and human services sector of the Springfield region, and there is a lot of synergy between Bay Path students, faculty and staff and the organizations dedicated to serving this community.”
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Bay Path pivoted to a covid-modified donation-based effort, rather than in-person volunteering, but remains committed to upholding the intention of the day. “We have a long tradition of positioning our students to donate their time and their ideas to transforming themselves and their communities,” notes President Doran. “If ever there was a time to uphold that tradition, it’s now.”