HandsOn provides DIY kits to recognize Martin Luther King Jr.

HandsOn K-State celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. with DIY take-home service kits. (Archive Photo by Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

HandsOn Kansas State, a program in the Staley School of Leadership Studies, welcomes Black History Month by hosting the MLK Week of Service — a weeklong recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

To begin the commemoration, HandsOn K-State provided do-it-yourself service kits for students and community members. The kits include activities for people to put together to donate.

“Some are more family-oriented, like making a craft or a dog toy and also making tie-blankets,” Reagan Stonestreet, junior in marketing and HandsOn K-State student coordinator, said.

Once completed, people will return the items they created on Feb. 8 to donate to the emergency shelter, animal shelter and Meadowlark Hills.

“Service is important to us, but also reflection on that service,” Lindsey Hamner, graduate assistant and graduate student of public administration, said.

Hamner said each kit has questions for families or students to reflect on what they’re doing and how it relates to Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacies.

In past years, HandsOn held an MLK Day of Service of about 100 to 200 volunteers engaging with different community agencies. This year, HandsOn created 300 at-home kits.

“With the pandemic and everything, that wasn’t a safe option, so we decided to play a little bit of a different role this year,” Hamner said. “We’re excited that this year we can still figure out a way to do some kind of service.”

In addition to the service kits, the community can also donate items for the Cat’s Cupboard. Suggested items include canned chicken, canned chicken broth, dry noodles, canned chili beans, diced tomatoes, diced green chilies, chili seasoning packets and other items to prepare soup. Donated items are accepted at the Leadership Studies Building while kits are accepted.

“It’s taking a lot of hands and we appreciate everyone’s help getting the word out there,” Gracyn Higley, senior in animal sciences and industry and Alternative Breaks student coordinator, said.

“HandsOn K-State has historically served as a volunteer center for both the campus and the community,” Hamner said. “It was something we naturally fell into to create a day of service to unite all of the MLK efforts that happen out in the city as well as the MLK efforts that happen here on campus.”

HandsOn will give away items to people who bring the completed items back. These include mugs and stickers.

The completed kits are accepted on Monday, Feb. 8 at the Leadership Studies Building or the Manhattan Public Library from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For a reminder to drop them off, you can respond to the event here.