Ounce of Doing celebrates the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.

by Stacy Owens

The spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. lives on beyond the day set aside for him each year in Simpson College’s Ounce of Doing program.

“This is the third year we have engaged in this activity, and it stems from Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” said Walter Lain, assistant dean for multicultural and international affairs. “Martin Luther King Jr. stood for civil rights, but he also stood for helping people. We are trying to bring back good ways for students to get involved in the Simpson community – broader than just on campus.”

Ounce of Doing is in its third year of trying to get students and faculty involved in community projects off and on campus.

In Brenton Student Center and Dunn Library there are sign-up sheets for the seven teams this year. The projects focus on a variety of issues where help is needed, anything from violence to poverty.

Sophomore Nick Webb signed up for the hunger team because he thought it was a good cause.

“I like to help solve problems instead of just talking about them and thought this would be a way I could do that,” Webb said.

As soon as teams are established, they meet and develop an event or project in their category.

“The third week in February we have a dinner where all teams present their proposal and compete with other teams for funding,” Lain said. “We then select what idea we like.

According to Lain, last year they chose two and split their $1,000 budget to fund them both.

Sophomores Omar Padilla and Bobby Nalean were on a team last year that organized a Living the Dream – End the ‘isms’ march.

“My friend Bobby and I wanted to do something meaningful,” Padilla said. “We signed up for the discrimination team because we thought we could do the most with that topic, and then ended up helping organize the End the ‘isms’ march. This year we would like to organize the march again. It was a rewarding experience for me.”

Nalean invited students and the community to get involved this year.

“We hope to double the number of students every year,” Nalean said. “Last year we had 80, and we would like to double that this year.”

According to Lain, this is a good way for faculty and students to work together on a common project.

“Mostly students are involved, but there are also faculty and staff on teams,” Lain said. “This is truly a way for Simpson College to connect with others in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.”