Midlands Reading Consortium (MRC) AmeriCorps members and United Way of the Midlands (UWM) staff collaborated with Senior Resources and Meals on Wheels volunteers to package and deliver meals to local senior citizens in volunteer service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. Columbia residents were joined by volunteers across the country as part of the annual MLK Day of Service.
“It is important to volunteer in your local community to feel a connection with the work you’re doing and the people you’re serving,” said Christina Thomas, AmeriCorps Midlands Reading Consortium Program Manager. “Coming together to take action and serve others promotes well-being for everyone.”
Five MRC AmeriCorps members and three UWM education staff boxed over 350 meals at Senior Resources and transported them, with the assistance of Meals on Wheels volunteers, to Columbia’s senior citizens. “The most impactful moment for me while volunteering was seeing our seniors patiently waiting at their doors,” said Graylen Grant, MRC AmeriCorps School Liaison. “You could tell they were excited to see us pull up with their meals. They were all smiles and so grateful!”
The MLK Day of Service encourages all Americans to improve communities through volunteer service. Despite the challenges created by COVID-19, nonprofits and communities have come together to develop new ways for volunteers to honor Dr. King through service, such as virtual projects. This year will mark the 26th celebration of the annual service event since Congress designated the MLK holiday the first ever National Day of Service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service, now known as AmeriCorps, with leading this effort.
With an emphasis on creating opportunity for all, Americans of all ages and backgrounds in all 50 states will re-commit themselves as citizens by volunteering in service to one another. Projects include delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, and building homes. Volunteers will also recruit mentors, provide services for veterans and military families, and help citizens improve their financial literacy skills.
The MLK Day of Service is led by AmeriCorps, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs and leads the nation’s volunteer efforts. For more information, visit mlkday.gov.