Michigan Community Service Commission to Support 29 MLK Day of Service Projects

AmeriCorps Photo - MLK Day

Michigan Community Service Commission to Support 29 MLK Day of Service Projects

The Michigan Community Service Commission is proud to announce that it will be providing support for 29 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service volunteer projects this year. This is an almost 50% increase from the 20 projects it supported in 2019. 

On and around MLK Day, these projects will engage more than 4,400 volunteers who will serve more than 15,000 volunteer hours to benefit Michigan communities. Organizations received financial support from the Michigan Community Service Commission as well as its partners Michigan Nonprofit Association and Youth Service America.

The support will allow organizations across the state to engage volunteers of all ages in a “day on, not a day off” in honor of Dr. King and his legacy of service to others. Ramona Washington, program director of the AmeriCorps Urban Safety program at Wayne State University, has been a part of this tradition of service in her community for years. 

“This is the program’s 9th year improving public safety around Detroit Public School Community District,” said Washington. This MLK Day, the students from Mark Twain Elementary School will be paired with AmeriCorps service members to secure vacant and damaged lots in areas nearby to the school.  

“The main goal is neighborhood stabilization,” she explained, “we want to improve the safety of students who walk to and from school in the City of Detroit each day by removing anything deemed a hazard to safety in the community.”

More MLK Day of Service Projects

In the Upper Peninsula, the Superior AmeriCorps program is tackling a need to support foster youth in their community. 

“Children who arrive at the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home in Houghton are coming from turbulent and often traumatic home situations and, as a result, they frequently arrive without the basic items needed to feel stable,” said AmeriCorps service member Alex Smith. 

To combat this problem, the program will engage local elementary students in the construction of blankets and the assembly of care packages filled with books, comfort items, toiletries, and basic clothing items, which will all be donated to the shelter upon completion. 

In the greater Flint area, the United Way of Genesee is gearing up for their fourth year hosting a large-scale food packaging event. With over 700 volunteers expected to participate, their goal is to prepare over 200,000 meals for local distribution through food pantries in the area. 

“Hunger knows no boundaries – your friends, neighbors, colleagues and extended family could be suffering without your knowledge,” said Vice President Jamie-Lee Venable, “in Genesee County alone, 1 in 6 people struggle with food insecurity, but thankfully we are a community that wants to put a stop to this preventable crisis.” 

Information about all 29 MLK Day of Service projects can be found below:

Location

Brief Project Description

Date / Time

Marquette

Northern Michigan University Volunteer Center

1401 Presque Isle Ave (NMU Campus site); 425 Fisher St.

(D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans)

Northern Michigan University students will be engaged in a variety of service projects (knitting scarves/hats, making care packages, writing personalized letters, spending time with veterans) all focused on giving back to various vulnerable populations in their community.

Monday, Jan. 20,

12-3:30 p.m.

Houghton

Superior AmeriCorps

700 Park Ave

Engaging local elementary student volunteers in the construction of blankets and care packages (w/ books, comfort items, toiletries, and clothing) for children entering the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home.

Saturday, January 18,

3-5 p.m.

Lake City

Missaukee Conservation District

6180 West Sanborn Road, Suite 3

Lake City Elementary students and Lake High School volunteers will build 20 bat boxes for local natural areas to promote environmental stewardship and education.

Friday, Jan. 24,

9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Alpena

Youth Volunteer Corps of Alpena

211 N 1st Ave.

Hosting an afternoon session of one-to-one mentoring between youth volunteers and young children with fun and educational literacy activities.

Friday, Jan. 17,

2:30-6 p.m.

Tawas City

NE MI Community Service Agency (NEMCSA)

27 North Rempert Road

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of NE MI will assemble and deliver “cheer up bags” with games, activities, and snacks for seniors and persons with disabilities to try to combat the increased social isolation of winter.

Friday, Jan. 17, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (assembly of bags)

Monday, Jan. 20 (delivery of bags to homes)

Hastings

Barry County United Way

231 S. Broadway St.

 

Collecting donations for personal hygiene products and socks to then create small kits for community members experiencing homelessness that will be distributed through local orgs working to combat food insecurity and provide basic services to all.

Monday, Jan. 20,

10 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Harrison

Harrison Elementary SPARKS After School Program

201 N Fourth St.

Assembling dental health kits with supplies and educational materials to be donated to the local Harrison Baby Pantry.

Monday, Jan. 20,

3:30-5:30pm

Saginaw

United Way of Saginaw County

1781 Fordney St.

3 service components to project:

- Making inspiring bookmarks for READ association

-Kindness Rock Project for the local Boys & Girls Club

-Packaging donations of pet toys & products for Saginaw County Animal Care Center

Friday, Jan. 17,

3-7 p.m.

St. Louis

Gratiot County Community Foundation YAC

520 Olive St.

Students from all six Gratiot County schools will assemble “calming kits” (w/ toys, art supplies, games, etc.) and “sweet cases” (w/ blankets, socks, personal hygiene items, stuffed animals, etc.) for foster youth in the area.

Sunday, Jan. 12

Port Huron

Port Huron Area School District

5 Locations: 200 32nd St (Central Middle School); 3985 Keewahdin Road, Fort Gratiot (Fort Gratiot Middle School); 1617 Holland Ave (Holland Woods Middle School); 2215 Court St. (Port Huron HS); 1799 Kraft Road (Port Huron Northern HS)

“Make-A-Blanket Day”: local HS and middle school students constructing blankets to be donated to homeless shelters in the area.

Monday, Jan. 20,

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Flint

United Way of Genesee County

3501 Lapeer Road

Large-scale food packaging event with the goal to package approximately 120K meals to be distributed by local food pantries.

Monday, Jan. 20,

8 a.m.-12:30pm

Fowlerville

St. John’s Lutheran Church’s

Kids Who Care

7677 Sharpe Road

Fowlerville Junior High students will be packaging meals for starving children.

Friday, Jan. 17,

11 a.m.

Lansing

Allen Neighborhood Center

1611 E. Kalamazoo St.

Building garden beds, painting signs, and starting transplants by seed for the Hunter Park community garden to help combat food insecurity.

Monday, Jan. 20,

9 a.m.-12 p.m.

East Lansing

Edgewood Village Network Center

6213 Towar Garden Circle

Holding a personal needs items drive and sorting those items into bags to be donated to individuals/families in need as well as to be stored for later use.

Friday, Jan. 17,

4-8 p.m.

 

Ann Arbor

University of Michigan Ginsberg Center

4250 Central Blvd.

Hosting an afternoon of MLK-themed, literacy-focused activities with elementary students in the AA community through the established program, “Readers & Best.”

Friday, Jan. 17,

12-2:30 p.m.

Monroe

Monroe County Opportunity Program, 120 Eastchester St.

Holding a food packaging event to bag meals for food insecure families in the community.

Friday, Jan. 17,

11 a.m.

Jackson

Northwest Elementary

414 S Blackstone St.

5th grade students paired with special needs/cognitive impaired students to make “Dignity Kits” (w/ various personal hygiene products and a handwritten “note of inspiration”) to be donated to individuals staying at the local homeless shelter.

Friday, Jan. 17

Detroit

The Lawn Academy

2470 Collingwood St.

Assembling and handing out care packages (w/ snacks, gloves, and scarves) for homeless individuals living within the Cass Corridor in Detroit.

Thursday, Jan. 16, 3-5 p.m. (preparing care packages)

Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (traveling to deliver care packages)

Milford

Kids Coalition Against Hunger

1116 S Hickory Ridge Road

Preparing meal packets for local shelters and food banks

Saturday, Jan. 18,

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Detroit

Wayne State University Center for Urban Studies

12800 Visger St.

Doing clean-up (boarding abandoned houses, removing illegal dumping, trimming overgrown shrubbery, etc.) along predetermined routes that are most frequently taken by students.

Monday, Jan. 20,

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Detroit

Detroit PAL

1680 Michigan Ave.

Hosting a community dinner and activity night for families of the Coalition on Temporary Shelter.

Saturday, Jan. 18, 1-5 p.m.

 

Detroit

Youth Energy Squad

315 E. Warren Ave.

Hosting an MLK-themed educational and empowerment workshop for students of color from Detroit Public Schools.

Monday, Jan. 20

Detroit

Loyola High School

3 Locations: 15325 Pinehurst (Loyola High School), 11850 Woodrow Wilson Dr (Cass Community Social Services), 2131 Beaufait St (Gleaners Community Food Bank)

Entire student body/staff will go out into the community to package food for pantries, serve meals at shelters, and package clothes for families in need.

Monday, Jan. 20,

8 a.m.-12 p.m.

Detroit

Gleaners Community Food Bank

2131 Beaufait St.

 

Partnering with 3 programs:

-Warehouse: inspecting and packing fresh produce for Gleaners School Food program (GSFP).

-Kids Helping Kids: assembling bagged soup kits for GSFP.

-Empty Bowls: designing and painting ceramic bowls to be sold as fundraisers to help provide food to families in SE MI.

Friday, Jan. 17,

9-11:30am

1-3:30 p.m. (for Warehouse project)

 

 

Metro Detroit

Judson Center

410 13 Mile Road (Royal Oak); 12723 Telegraph Road, Suite 200 (Redford)

K-12 students from Royal Oak and Berkley Public Schools will be painting the Judson Center’s main autism therapy center in Royal Oak as well as its family visitation rooms in Redford. They also will be constructing hygiene kits to give to children entering foster care in the community.

Monday, Jan. 20,

9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Metro Detroit

Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency

5 Locations: 2800 Lafayette Blvd., Lincoln Park (Lincoln Park Middle School); 1701 Champaign Road, Lincoln Park (Lincoln Park HS); 3303 Oakwood, Melvindale (Strong Middle School); 25912 Annapolis St., Inkster (Tomlinson Middle School); 340 Frazier St., River Rouge (Sabbath Middle School).

Students from four local middle schools and one high school will be assembling hygiene kits that will be given out by their school’s social workers/front desk to students who are experiencing homelessness and/or financial instability.

Tuesday, Jan. 21,

4-6 p.m.

Livonia

Madonna University

36600 Schoolcraft Road

Partnering with the SOAP project to label bars of soap with information about the Human Trafficking Hotline, common signs to identify victims, and steps that an onlooker can take to help someone they believe is in danger. Once labeled, the bars of soap will be donated to local hotels to raise awareness and provide practical knowledge/advice for this issue.

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 12-2pm

Detroit

Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program

6445 E. Vernor Highway

Hosting an MLK themed educational day, where students will learn about his life and fight for civil rights, discuss how these issues relate to their own lives, and, lastly, engage in various games and creative activities centered around the day’s theme.

Monday, Jan. 20,

12-4 p.m.

 

Detroit

Atlantic Impact

3535 3rd Ave.

A group of 8 HS juniors/seniors will be serving food and handing out toiletry kits to community members staying at or receiving services from the Detroit Rescue Mission Shelter.

Saturday, Jan. 18