|PBA student Casey Milner-Knotts takes Amber, a pit bull terrier, for a walk at Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary and Hospital during the MLK Challenge.|
Palm Beach Atlantic University student Justine Coggins spent Martin Luther King Day in service to man’s best friend, volunteering as a dog walker at Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary and Hospital.
The elementary education major was one of nearly 85 students, including 15 student leaders and co-leaders, who performed community service at seven Palm Beach County locations on Monday as part of the annual MLK Challenge.
Since 2001, PBA students have spent Martin Luther King Day participating in service projects through PBA’s Workship program. Classes were not in session on Monday.
A team of 12 PBA students and two student leaders traveled to Safe Harbor, a no-kill facility in Jupiter, to assist with tasks like cleaning the animals’ living spaces and walking the dogs.
“I’ve always wanted a dog,” Coggins said as she walked a pit bull terrier named Midnight. “I’ve been obsessed with them since fifth grade.”
She said she was happy to take part in the MLK Challenge. “It just seemed like a good way to give back and a good way to honor his memory,” she said.
|PBA student Justine Coggins visits with Midnight, a pit bull terrier.|
Rhonda Gallon, volunteer coordinator for Safe Harbor and a graduate of PBA’s organizational management program, said that the students’ help this week was welcome. The facility operates on donations and relies on volunteers, she said.
Ville Tiitto, a fourth-year pharmacy student at PBA, helped the cause by cleaning the cat cages. “I like animals,” he said, adding that he also participated in the MLK Challenge last year.
In addition to Safe Harbor, students volunteered at Rosemary Village in West Palm Beach, where they hosted a block party for neighborhood children, as well as Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center in Loxahatchee. Groups also served at a Habitat for Humanity home, the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, Quantum House and the Palm Beach Zoo.
Faculty, staff and administrators also helped with the service projects, including PBA President William M.B. Fleming Jr. and his wife, Pam, who visited several of the work sites on Monday.
|PBA students clean horse stalls at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center in Loxahatchee during the MLK Challenge on Monday.|