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Ten Martin Luther King Service Projects Funded

December 10th, 2008

STATEWIDE - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year will be a "day on, not a day off" for many local students, parents, teachers, and other volunteers statewide. The Maine Commission for Community Service (MCCS) is pleased to announce it will provide ten $350 awards to fund community service projects across the state that honor Dr. King. and his legacy. Time Warner Cable will match the funding of the top two awardees further increasing the projects impact. Funded service projects will take place between January 17th and January 19th 2009. Please visit www.VolunteerMaine.org to get involved in your community.

"The Martin Luther King Day of Service is an important way for Maine’s people to experience the significance of service, volunteerism and collaboration among their neighbors. This funding will allow participants to create and implement service projects that will not only impact their communities, but celebrate Dr. King and his commitment to service, non-violence and diversity,” Executive Director of MCCS Maryalice Crofton remarked.

The Maine Commission for Community Service has provided similar King Day of Service awards since 1996. Recipients must plan a service project that engages a broad spectrum of community as well as promote a spirit of inclusive collaboration. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act to encourage Americans to celebrate the King Holiday as a day of service.

The following community service projects have been funded:

PORTLAND – The University of Southern Maine, Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement will partner with the Portland Housing Authority, and the NAACP Portland Branch to create and display a mural that highlights the legacy of Dr. King. For times and additional information contact Michael Wilson at 207-780-4679. This project was in the top two and will receive Time Warner Cable matching funds for a total award of $700.

HOULTON- The Houlton High School Civil Rights Team will invite the community to participate in a program called “Are You Hungry Tonight?” This program is described as an educational simulation of hunger in the community. Program attendees are asked to bring a food item for donation to local food pantries as admission. For times and additional information contact Christy Fitzpatrick at 207-532-6548. This project was in the top two and will receive Time Warner Cable matching funds for a total award of $700.

BANGOR- The Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine will sponsor a “Spoken-Word Café,” which invites community members to participate though creative performances of speech, poetry, visual art, skits, or other media reflecting the values of nonviolence and social justice. For times and additional information contact Meredith Eaton 207-941-2800.

WALDOBORO- The University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Knox-Lincoln 4-H Program will sponsor a penny drive aiming to raise at least one mile of pennies. 4-H clubs in towns throughout Knox and Lincoln Counties will conduct food drives. Volunteers and community members will form a human chain to deliver the food from the 4-H club gathering place to the Union Food Bank. For times and additional information contact Ellie Libby at 207-832-0343 x 118.

PORTLAND- Goodwill of Northern New England and the Community Resource Corps along with community members will serve a meal at the Wayside Soup Kitchen. Participants will create an art project focused on the legacy of Dr King that will be hung in the soup kitchen. For times and additional information contact Adrian Cohen 207-347-3211.

WATERVILLE- The HealthReach Network and HealthReach RSVP will host a community fair. Participants will learn new ways to stretch heating resources, gain information on good nutrition, see demonstrations of healthy aging programs, and discover volunteer opportunities. In lieu of a fee vendors are asked to make donations to the Kennebec Valley Heat Helpers Program. The event will also feature a reading corner focused on diversity. For times and additional information contact Ruth Saint Amand 207-861-3428.

FREEPORT- The Freeport Student Aspirations Partnership and the Freeport School Department will facilitate a number of opportunities for community members to give back in honor of Dr. King. Projects include knitting blankets for children in Afghanistan, a pancake breakfast fundraiser, and intergenerational read aloud where older students and adults will read stories about Dr. King to younger participants. For times and additional information contact Meredith Charest 207-865-0928 x29.

PORTLAND- Portland West will host a Book Swap and Community Learning Celebration in honor of Dr. King. Prior to the event students will participate in a writing and art making lesson envisioning what “I have a dream” looks like for their community. This material will be gathered and compiled in an original book created by the students. During the Learning Celebration students will educate the community about Dr. King and his teachings, and conduct readings. For times and additional information contact Amy Klodzinski 207-775-0105.

LEBANON- The Lebanon Volunteer Rescue Department will offer a community CPR, AED, and First Aid class for local residents and agencies at no cost. This opportunity will honor one of the greatest civil right icons, Dr. King, in American history by offering the public the chance to come together and learn how they can save lives and serve the community. For times and additional information contact Chief Samantha J. Cole 207-457-9269.

KENNEBUNK- The River Tree Arts will conduct workshops where participants will learn more about Dr. King, the Civil Rights Movement, and what they exemplify. Participants will engage in critical reflection and create a public art project designed to promote the values for which they stand. The art projects created will be featured at the Biddeford Art Walk. For times and additional information contact Kevin Townsend 207-967-9120.

The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers, raising awareness, and encouraging an ethic of service. To learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our web-site at www.maineservicecommission.gov.