The CSRA Puts Citizenship and Service into Action on MLK Day 2022
Updated: Feb 25
The 2022 MLK drive achieved its goal and donations increased by 34%
Augusta, GA – A month ago, hundreds came out to support the 14th annual MLK toiletry drive that supplies basic hygiene items to the most vulnerable in the CSRA. United Way of the CSRA and AmeriCorps VISTA members want to thank the community for their outpouring support.
Almost 18,000 toiletry items were collected with a total value of over $23,000. Thirty-three organizations including schools and non-profits that serve the homeless, seniors, and children received toiletry kits.
“We were happily surprised! After postponing the drive because of inclement weather, we were not sure if it would be as successful as in past years, but our community really came out and made a difference. This year's goal was to provide emergency hygiene kits to at least 2,000 local households that often go without these basic hygiene necessities most of us take for granted and thanks to the CSRA community of supporters, we did it!”, said Cheryl Odom, United Way of the CSRA Community Impact Program Specialist.
For the past 14 years, the CSRA AmeriCorps VISTAs, operating under the umbrella of United Way of the CSRA has been leading this effort. This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many to lose their jobs or experience a reduction in income, non-profit partners and families had a greater need for these basic hygiene supplies.
Although past MLK Day events recruited volunteers from the community, this year it was a socially distanced service project to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The MLK Day of Service project shines a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge economic and social divides – today and throughout the year.
**January 16, 2022 / 1:10 p.m. EST Update - Out of an abundance of caution, Americorps Vistas are postponing the MLK Day drive-thru event until Tuesday, January 18th. They will be in the United Way parking lot (located on the Kroc Center Campus, 1765 Broad St, Augusta, GA 30904) on Tuesday, January 18th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. There is the possibility of icy roads Monday morning and they want everyone to remain safe. They will continue to accept donations through Friday, January 21st.
The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service is an opportunity for all Americans to unite and serve at a time when the global pandemic calls for us to work together and support our communities. It is our goal that the MLK Day of Service will provide needed support for communities and inspire commitments to serve throughout 2022 and beyond.
For the past fourteen years, the CSRA AmeriCorps VISTAs, operating under the umbrella of United Way of the CSRA, has worked hard to obtain donations of hygiene products so that emergency personal care kits can be distributed to the homeless, seniors in need, and children in the Richmond County and Columbia County experiencing the effects of poverty.
This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many to lose their jobs or experience a reduction in income, our non-profit partners and families have a greater need for these basic hygiene supplies. With your help, this year's goal is to provide emergency hygiene kits to at least 2,000 local households that often go without the basic hygiene necessities most of us take for granted.
Although the past MLK Day events recruited volunteers from the community, this year, the event will be a socially distanced service project to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are still ways to volunteer, and we invite our community to participate in the following ways:
Bring your physical donations to The United Way of the CSRA Parking Lot on Tuesday, January 18th, from 9 am- 12 pm. Some of the most needed items include travel-size hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, facial wipes, soap, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.
Make a monetary donation online or text MLKDrive to 41444
Purchase items through an Amazon list
Last year, volunteers helped make and distribute individual and family kits to 19 non-profit agencies and 11 schools. This year’s service opportunities will be primarily virtual with limited socially distanced in-person events in adherence to the CDC, state, and local safety guidelines and protocols.
The MLK Day of Service project shines a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge economic and social divides – today and throughout the year.
Find out more about Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service here https://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday
About AmeriCorps VISTA
AmeriCorps VISTA members serve for a year with United Way of the CSRA and extended partners to work towards curbing child illiteracy, improving health services for all ages, and strengthening the community.
About United Way of the CSRA
United Way of the CSRA works hard to ensure every single family has access to needed resources so that everyone has the opportunity to meet their goals, whatever they may be. With more than half of our community either living in poverty or living paycheck to paycheck, we are committed to Lead Families Forward throughout our region.
Leading Families Forward is our blueprint for lifting struggling families out of poverty. Our multi-step approach transforms lives from childhood to adulthood and beyond with the tools and resources for families to meet their full potential, regardless of zip code. Last year, we impacted the lives of more than 215,000 people in need. Our goal is to build upon this success by ensuring that all children, young adults, and families achieve their maximum potential through partnerships and investments so that we can continue to serve even more in the future.