More than 1,000 Volunteers in Four States Take ‘A Day On, Not a Day Off’ in Remembrance of Civil Rights Leader
The Global Peace Foundation USA (GPFUSA) with partners from local governments, schools, businesses and nonprofit organizations, sponsored some 1,000 volunteers at 25 project sites in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi in observation of Martin Luther King Day of Service on Jan 16, 2012.
Free screenings at the health fair hosted by the Chivers-Grant Institute of Morehouse College.In Atlanta, 400 volunteers participated at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, the host school of GPFUSA’s Leadership Academy pilot program. Projects included decorating the school with portraits and quotes of Dr. King, designing signage for community gardens, assembling care packages for veterans through the Veteran Empowerment Organization and the Atlanta VA Medical Center, creating holiday cards for children in a local hospital, and distributing food and clothing for veterans.
Home Depot, one of GPFUSA’s key partners, provided materials and mobilized several hundred volunteers who beautified schools, after-school facilities and community centers at 20 of the project sites. For most volunteers, this was their first MLK Day of Service.
Other partnering and support organizations in Atlanta included:
- Atlanta Public Schools and After School All Stars, which provided volunteers and other support at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School and Sylvan Middle School;
- Chivers-Grant Institute of Morehouse College, which hosted a Health Fair that included free blood pressure, dental and BMI screenings. Local farmers markets offered free produce for participants at the fair;
- After-School All-Stars, which did landscaping and assembled care packages, and also provided free tickets from the Atlanta Hawks Foundation for youth and their families as well as donating lunch for volunteers;
Teams from Home Depot worked together with students and community members on beautification and landscaping projects at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Atlanta.Motivated Adults Developing Excellence (M.A.D.E.), which provided enriching games;
- Wholistic Stress Control Institute, which hosted stress management workshops for parents;
- Chase Bank, which provided Financial Literacy Workshops for community members;
- The Administration of Children and Families, which provided staff volunteers to support the overall program;
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pi Alpha Omega Chapter, which conducted voter registration for Fulton County;
- The Alliance for Women in Media, which hosted an innovative project using media to address bullying;
- Students from local universities such as Clark Atlanta, Spelman, and Georgia State University, who lead workshops on bullying and youth violence.
GPFUSA and local partners also organized service projects in other cities and communities in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, including:
- Hapeville, Georgia Fifty volunteers from Hands on Atlanta worked with Sisters Motivating Achievement and Recognizing Talent (S.M.A.R.T., Inc.) to make repairs from a recent storm, paint rooms and do outdoor grounds cleaning.
- Vine City, Georgia Visions Unlimited mobilized 30 volunteers to clean a community center in Magnolia Park that was recently vandalized.
- Columbus, Georgia Seventy volunteers from Columbus State University, AFLAC Insurance, NAACP and other organizations in their first annual MLK Day of Service contributed to a community campaign to stop violence and participate in beautification and cleanup projects. All participants took the 40 Days of Peace pledge and commitment to peace and service.
- Chattanooga, Tennessee Fifty people from four organizations beautified the Chambliss Children’s Home.
- Memphis, Tennessee Fifty volunteers organized a health fair for 300 participants at a local community center. Ten agencies from Shelby County Government, Department of Human Services, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, physicians and nurses, and other vendors provided valuable information and services.
- Birmingham, Alabama Home Depot brought 20 volunteers to rebuild flower beds and further beautify the area at two Head Start sites in the city.
- Jackson, Mississippi Hinds County Head Start mobilized 130 volunteers to clean outside of their center around the parking lot and playground area. Volunteers also organized a food drive, and youth took plants home to grow which will later be planted in the garden on the grounds. Fox 40 and Friends interviewed Hinds County representatives on January 13 and were on the location on day of service.
The Day of service was widely covered by local media, including CBS Atlanta, WDEF News 12, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, WLTZ 38 News, and WDEF News 12.
Martin Luther King Day of Service is a federal holiday observed on the third Monday of January each year. For more information on how you can volunteer, visit Martin Luther King Day of Service.