“Remembering the Dream” was the focus for United Way of the CSRA’s 2012 Martin Luther King (MLK) Day of Service Project. United Way’s VISTA Leader, along with 22 VISTA Members and five Senior Corps Members recruited and served hand in hand with 3,200 community volunteers, to include 1,000 youth. Together, they collected personal hygiene product donations and created 1,971 emergency hygiene kits, putting in over 25,600 volunteer hours. The hygiene kits were distributed to benefit 606 homeless individuals and families and 550 persons at-risk of homelessness, 625 seniors in the Senior Food Box Program, and 190 veterans and their families.
In addition, hygiene products received allowed the group to donate 12,000 pounds of hygiene items to the Richmond County School System that will benefit an estimated 6,000 children experiencing the effects of poverty. Eighty-nine community partnerships were developed to support this service project that included 40 schools, 20 community organizations, 18 churches, 7 hotels, and 4 corporations.
Many times individuals and families go without the basic necessities most of us take for granted. Through this MLK service project, a host of volunteers came together and were able to give those in need a greater sense of self and a brighter outlook on life. Perhaps even more importantly, they we were able to play a small role in helping individuals and families retain their dignity during trying times in their lives, thus moving us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.
Funding sponsors for the MLK Service Project included United Way of the CSRA, The Corporation for National & Community Service, and Youth Service America (YSA).