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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 17, 2003

CONTACT: Amy Holmes
Phone: 202-606-500 x133
Email: [email protected]

   

National Service Volunteers Lead Effort to Make King Holiday "a Day On"

 

Washington, D.C. — Television personality Al Roker and Washington Mayor Anthony Williams won’t be sitting home and relaxing this Monday. Instead, on January 20 they’ll be joining Senior Corps volunteers, AmeriCorps members, Learn and Serve America students, and tens of thousands of other volunteers across the country in projects designed to turn the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into a national day of service.

Roker and AmeriCorps members will be building homes with the nonprofit group Habitat for Humanity in Brooklyn, New York, and Williams will help AmeriCorps members renovate a housing project in Southeast Washington. But their efforts represent just a small part of the community-building activities being planned that day.

As it has since 1994, the Corporation for National and Community Service-the federal agency charged with promoting service and civic engagement through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America programs-is leading the effort to make the King holiday “a day ON, not a day off.” Late last year, the Corporation awarded $407,000 in grants to 80 nonprofit organizations and public agencies to support service projects to honor the legacy of Dr. King. (A full list of recipients can be found at www.mlkday.org.) In addition, thousands of national service participants will be taking part in scores of projects across the country.

“Serving our neighbors and communities is the best way to commemorate this man who devoted his life to serving others,” said Leslie Lenkowsky, CEO of the Corporation. “This day is especially important now as Americans respond to President Bush’s call to every American to dedicate two years of their lives to serving others.”

In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, directing the King Center and the Corporation to carry out a day of service reflecting Dr. King’s life and teachings. Coretta Scott King, wife of the slain civil rights leader, said, “The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others.” Over the past eight years, King Day of Service programs have steadily grown to encompass projects across the country, of varying sizes, from the local to the national level.

This year’s projects include:

NEW YORK, NY — Today Show host Al Roker and over 400 volunteers are joining Habitat for Humanity and AmeriCorps to finish 15 newly built Habitat homes, and sheetrock five more in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The Habitat for Humanity-NYC Martin Luther King Blitz Build includes volunteers from faith groups, corporations, and community organizations, as well as AmeriCorps Director Rosie Mauk, Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, and HUD Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

WASHINGTON, DC — AmeriCorps is teaming up with Mayor Anthony Williams, members of the DC women’s soccer team the Washington Freedom, and over 200 local volunteers to rejuvenate the Benning Terrace housing complex and refurbish the nearby Davis Elementary School and neighborhood parks.

SHREVEPORT, LA — Volunteers with Senior Corps’ RSVP program and AmeriCorps*VISTA members will be among the hundreds of volunteers performing such activities as planting trees in a park devastated by tornadoes, and installing smoke detectors in low-income housing, in this community-wide project.

PHILADELPHIA, PA — 35,000 volunteers will join to celebrate the eighth annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. An estimated 600 projects will be undertaken in the five-county Philadelphia area and nearby Camden, New Jersey. Volunteers will paint schools and recreation centers, renovate decrepit homes, teach computer skills to the elderly, read to children, and distribute food in homeless shelters.

SEATTLE, WA — 400 volunteers will gather to improve the Marymoor Park. The project, sponsored by the Governor’s Office in coordination with AmeriCorps and Friends of Marymoor Park, has received a $37,500 urban forestry grant from King County. Volunteers will plant trees, pull weeds, and remove dying foliage.

FAYETTEVILLE, NC — “Grandparents for a Day” is deploying more than 125 adults and 175 youth to visit approximately 250 senior citizens living in nursing homes and assisted-living residences in Fayetteville and Cumberland County.

FARGO, ND — The City of Fargo is joining with AmeriCorps to launch its “Stuff the Bus” campaign to collect canned goods, blankets, clothes, pillows and toiletries for the area’s homeless and abuse shelters. A bus will tour the city picking up donations from churches, schools, and participating businesses throughout the week. On January 25, the bus will arrive at the Fargo City Hall, where it will be weighed for its “Tons of Impact.”

The Corporation and its programs are a proud part of the USA Freedom Corps, a White House initiative to foster a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

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