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Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Project Grants Awarded

Statewide -

STATEWIDE — In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service, or a day on, not off. The Maine Commission for Community Service shares with the Corporation for National and Community Service responsibility for ensuring that Dr. King is remembered through volunteer service that advances tolerance, social justice, and opportunities for all citizens to thrive.

Recently the Maine Commission for Community Service challenged communities across Maine to develop volunteer service projects that unite community sectors in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. The Maine Commission for Community Service is happy to announce that 8 organizations have been awarded $500 grants to implement Martin Luther King Day of Service Projects.

The Commission encourage local citizens to contact a project in their community and take part in the Martin Luther King Day Jr. of Service. This special day of service is an important way for Maine’s people to experience the significance of service, volunteerism and collaboration amongst their neighbors. These service projects will not only impact their communities, but celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and his commitment to service, non-violence, and diversity. The following organizations were selected:

Bodwell Center for Service & Volunteerism will be hosting a diversity day on January 16th from 12:00pm-3:00pm at the Old Town Orono YMCA. The purpose of the event is to teach local youth about diversity, the importance of community, and other teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. There will be four interactive workshops that focus on understanding diversity, embracing differences, and learning the value of community. The youth will participate in team building activities, arts & crafts, discussions, and Native American storytelling. If you would like more information or are interested in volunteering at this event, contact Anna Basel, AmeriCorps VISTA at anna.basel@umit.maine.edu or 581-1786.

Catholic Charities Maine will be hosting “Walking in the Light: A Charity Fashion Show” on Jan. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at One Longfellow Square, 181 State St. Portland.  Catholic Charities has partnered with local high schools, colleges, and boutiques in order to plan the event. The show will feature clothes from the Catholic Charities thrift store in hopes to raise awareness to the need for warm, affordable winter clothing and to boost clothing donations. High school and college students with an interest in fashion will play key roles in making the whole show come together. If you would like more information or are interested in volunteering at this event, contact Kerrie Keller, AmeriCorps VISTA at kkeller@ccmaine.org or 523-1156.

Goodwill Industries of Northern New England will be hosting events across Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Penobscot, Knox, Kennebec, Oxford, York, Washington, Waldo, Aroostook, Piscataquis, Hancock, Somerset, and Franklin Counties between Jan. 14-16. The purpose of the events will be to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic in Maine as well as across the country. Each site will feature a local chef who will teach ways to eat healthy, affordably, as well as a fitness expert who offer fitness classes free of charge as well as fitness advice. If you would like more information or are interested in volunteering at this event, contact Joely Ross at joely.ross@goodwillnne.org or 370-3936.

Island Institute will be holding events on the islands of Vinalhaven, St. George, Deer Isle, and Chebeague on January 16th between 9:00am-12:00pm which will address the impact of home energy use and the high cost of Maine Island Living. AmeriCorps members living within year round island communities (placed through the Island Fellows Program at the Island Institute) will lead community volunteers as they build interior storm windows and install them in a local public building. The windows will help reduce energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency in the chosen building. Through the project, both members and volunteers will also learn the skills they need to teach other community members to install the windows in their own homes. If you would like more information or are interested in getting involved,  contact Alexandria Brasili at abrasili@islandinstitute.org or 372-8677.

Portland Housing Authority and study centers located at Riverton Park, Sagamore Village, and Kennedy Park in Portland will be working with youth to reflect upon Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech and how that speech still has meaning today on Fridays from 3pm-6pm between now and Martin Luther King Jr. Day and between 8am-2pm on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The students will work with volunteers to write and perform 3 plays that will take place at the NAACP event in their communities. If you would like more information or are interested in volunteering at this event, contact Emily Fitch at efitch@porthouse.org or 207-773-4753.

Southern Maine Community College will be partnering with the University of Southern Maine, Portland High School, and the Boys and Girls Club to train local high school students in bystander intervention as well as nonviolent conflict resolution between now and January 13th in order to help youth identify what bullying is and to help them prevent it from happening at their school. This training will allow the students to overcome barriers that may have otherwise prevented them from getting the most from their education. On January 13th between 3:30-5:30pm, the students will meet to reflect upon what they have learned from their training in the weeks previous. If you would like more information or are interested in getting involved, contact Lauren Cappuccio at lcappuccio@smccme.edu or 774-5663.

The Game Loft will be partnering with the Belfast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 3 local lawyers, Thornton Academy, the Belfast Peace and Justice Committee, RSU 20, and the cable access channel to put on a mock trial with local youth at the Belfast Unitarian Universalist Church on January 16th from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. At the event, the 3 lawyers will act as the prosecution, defense, and the judge while members of the community will serve as the jury. The Restorative Justice program will then moderate a discussion group at the end of the trial. The trial will be televised by the local cable access channel. If you would like more information or are interested in getting involved, contact Patricia Estabrook at pestabrook@spurwink.org or 338-3800.

York Diversity Forum will hold an event to help fill the local need for warm clothing and food while raising awareness to the need by holding an event on January 16th from 9:00am to 12:00pm at the York Middle School. Attendance to this event will be paid in clothing and food donations. At the event local youth will assemble layered bean dip soup kits as well as fleece scarves which will then be distributed to local schools and agencies to distribute to those in need. If you would like more information or are interested in getting involved, contact Carol Davis at cadavisme@gmail.com or 361-9525.

The Maine Commission for Community Service is the state government partner of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation programs.

The state Commission builds capacity and sustainability in Maine’s volunteer and service communities by funding programs, developing managers of volunteers and service-learning practitioners, raising awareness of sector issues, and promoting service as a strategy to solve local problems.

For More Information:

Contact Name: Krysta Lilly-Brown

Telephone Number: (207)624-6238

Website: http://maineservicecommission.gov/news/2011/12/16/mlk-project-grants-awarded/

Email: krysta.lilly-brown@maine.gov