During their year of service, AmeriCorps VISTA members participate in two National Days of Service. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day (MLK Day) in January is one of those days. This year the Eco3 VISTAs volunteered for several events.
Thirteen VISTAs assisted with the MLK Day series of events hosted by the Duluth Chapter of the NAACP and various community sponsors. The main focus for the VISTAs was assisting with the kickoff breakfast event held at the First United Methodist Church. Some VISTAs welcomed and registered attendees while others set up and staffed the serving stations. After the breakfast, the VISTAs assisted with cleaning and reorganizing the event space.
The breakfast included a brief local program as well as a virtual broadcast from Minneapolis featuring a keynote by Valerie Jarrett, the CEO of the Barack Obama Foundation. Community members could also participate in two other events—the Gathering and March from the Washington Center gym to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC) and the MLK Rally held at the DECC. The MLK Rally event celebrated Dr. King’s challenge to “Keep Moving Forward” and featured a keynote presentation by Anthony Galloway, the pastor of St. Mark AME Church in Duluth.
Additional projects the Eco3 VISTAs participated in included exchanging letters with third graders from a low-income school district in order to help improve literacy and community building. They also delivered food to senior citizens.
MLK Day was a wonderful opportunity for our VISTAs to meet new community members, collaborate with community partners, and learn more about the lasting legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The VISTAs followed their volunteer opportunity with a gathering at the Eco3 offices for lunch, with an opportunity for reflection on the life of Dr. King.
We are always open to ideas on future community service collaborations for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Please feel free to contact Phil at email@example.com if you are interested in partnering.