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More than 3,000 Hours of Volunteer Service Donated in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

January 25th, 2011

Sixteen service projects across Maine brought community partners and 635 volunteers together in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on January 17, 2011.

The Maine Commission for Community Service had challenged communities across Maine to develop volunteer service projects that would unite local people in ways that reflected Dr. King’s reminder that “life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'.”  Anchoring most of these projects were 60 Maine AmeriCorps members who spent 1,365 hours organizing and helping accomplish the work.

The Maine Commission for Community Service supported the local activity through $500 grants to organizations that met the challenge to implement a service project that addressed a community need.

The Knox-Lincoln 4-H club kicked off a penny drive rolling $305 worth of pennies to donate to local food pantries. They also cooked and served food to 72 people in need. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech was shown and participants were invited to reflect on its principles.

First Parish Church of York County collaborated with University of New England medical students who provided health screenings. The church cooked meals, provided simple haircuts, and made their shower and laundry facilities available to the homeless. 

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens of Lincoln County hosted a project at The Lincoln Home where residents partnered with preschool students to make salad and herb gardens. Students learned about the value of a healthy diet and drew pictures for the residents of their experience and reflections on Martin Luther King Jr. 

Other projects included home weatherization, teaching bullying prevention, and helping children and their parents learn how to eat healthier in an effort to reduce obesity. See pictures from the projects on our website, www.maineservicecommission.gov , by clicking on the photo gallery.

The Maine Commission for Community Service 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 learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our web-site at www.maineservicecommission.gov.