Nearly 200 Virginia AmeriCorps members leapt into action and got things done across the state to serve their communities for MLK Day of Service, January 16th. The members recruited and mobilized nearly 550 volunteers donating nearly 2,600 volunteer hours for projects ranging from collecting food items to making blankets for animals in shelters! In Richmond, Virginia Veterans Corps members spent the day cleaning up historic Evergreen Cemetery. At another event in Richmond, members and volunteers with VCU and CARITAS hosted nearly 160 homeless community members offering meals and supplies. In Danville, nearly 200 Institute for Advance Learning and Research AmeriCorps members and volunteers assembled 10,000 packages of rice and beans, made Valentines cards for veterans and donated 50 scarves to the homeless. In Southwest Virginia, Occupational Enterprises, Inc., members and volunteers collected and distributed 5,000 pounds of potatoes to nearly 400 families.
Here are some additional highlights:
- Alternatives PASS and PASSL AmeriCorps (Hampton) members and volunteers prepared and packaged meals for the homeless
- Appalachian Community Action and Development Agency (Scott and Lee counties) members and volunteers collected personal hygiene items and donated to low income individuals and families.
- Aspire!, Arlington Works! and CASA AmeriCorps (Northern Virginia) offered opportunities for students to learn about civil and human rights and participate in hands-on activities that teach vision of equality.
- Beans and Rice, Inc. (Pulaski) helped distribute food and collect books for local K-5 students and recruited volunteers to assist in the distribution of donated food items and books.
- Carroll County Public Schools LIFT Up AmeriCorps (Carroll County and Floyd County) members coordinated the collection of more than 600 food/snack items at area schools and more than 400 hygiene items for New River Community Services.
- City of Richmond ACES AmeriCorps (Richmond) members and volunteers partnered with United Methodist Family Services for a day of activities, including collecting leaves and debris.
- Community Residences, Inc. (Northern Virginia) partnered with the Target location in Burke to visit one of the homes, clean up, and visit with residents. Volunteers also worked with the Tysons Corner Maggiano's to prepare meals for home residents and teach them cooking skills.
- Council of Community Services and The Advancement Foundation (Roanoke) hosted a financial workshop for community members.
- Literacy Lab (Petersburg) members and volunteers hosted a Family Literacy Day that included a book drive, children's reading circles, and literacy-themed games and contests.
- New River Community Action (throughout New River Valley) distributed fliers for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and also made arrangements for the collection of baby items.
- Rappahannock Goodwill Goodskills Literacy Corps (Fredericksburg) members and volunteers hosted a Painting Block Party where they completed four murals on the walls of the Brisben Center.
- United Way of Southwest Virginia (Abingdon) volunteers participated in a celebration that included a discussion on race relations in Southwest Virginia, followed by a unity march. Volunteers also painted and repaired the Charles Wesley Church parsonage.
- Virginia College Advising Corps (Charlottesville) members completed FASFA applications for students.
- Virginia State Parks - DCR (Crew) members cleared and cleaned up three acres in the town of Crewe, removing 20 discarded tires and bagging 20 bags of trash.
- Virginia Tech AmeriCorps (throughout New River Valley) members and volunteers hosted a "circle time" activity to implement into childcare centers in the area.