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Labor and Economic Opportunity

MCSC supporting 24 MLK Day volunteer projects

MLK Day Service

Thousands of Michigan volunteers will devote themselves to service for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 21.

The Michigan Community Service Commission will be engaging more than 2,500 volunteers in 24 volunteer projects, totaling more than 9,000 volunteer hours. Organizations received financial support from the Michigan Community Service Commission and partners Youth Service America, Corporation for National and Community Service, Mott Foundation and the Michigan Nonprofit Association. The volunteer projects will take from Jan. 18 to Jan. 21 in communities across the state.

“Volunteering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a fitting way to honor Dr. King, strengthen communities through service and bring people together,” said Michigan Community Service Commission Executive Director Ginna Holmes.

The volunteer projects

The support will allow several organizations across the state to support volunteers on MLK Day by tutoring and mentoring children, painting schools and senior centers, delivering meals, building homes, and serving their community in honor of Dr. King.

In Hastings, 35 Barry County United Way volunteers will assemble 75 childhood literacy packets targeted towards elementary students. Providing the educational materials directly to them helps implement as a “boots on the ground” movement.

"Our goal is to help children of the lower-elementary age be engaged in learning, reading, colors, counting and overall literacy,” said Morgan Johnson, Barry County United Way director. “We want families to do these things together at home when maybe these materials would not be readily available to them."

The volunteer projects the Michigan Community Service Commission is supporting are the following:


Brief Project Description



Northern Michigan University Volunteer Center

1401 Presque Isle Ave.


Projects include knitting scarves and hats for the women’s shelter, crafting Valentine’s Day cards for Jacobetti Home for Veterans, making dog toys for the UP-Animal Welfare Shelter, reading books and leading activities related to diversity and inclusion at the UP Children’s Museum.

Jan. 21

March for Equality: 12 p.m.

Lunch and diversity program: 12:30 – 2 p.m.

Service projects and volunteering: 2-3 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Area High School

904 Marquette Ave.

Students will create kits for local food pantries and shelters, create toys for hospital patients and prepare meals for the hungry.

Jan. 14 – 25

Traverse City

United Way of Northwest Michigan

202 E. Grandview Pkwy.

MLK reading event where literacy kits will be distributed, and kids will be reading aloud for an hour; a food/hygiene drive with youth/student recipients will also be hosted.

Jan. 21

MLK Reading Hour: 9 a.m.

Reigning Ranch

Work Day: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Northeast Michigan

2375 Gordon Road

Creating and assembling small “cheer-up” bags filled with pens, paper, hot chocolate bags, and activities like Sudoku, mandala drawings and a deck of cards. Volunteers delivering meals already will add these cheer-up bags to distribute on their routes.

Week of MLK Day

Big Rapids

Ferris State University

805 Campus Drive, Suite 121

Shoveling sidewalks around campus and the driveways of houses on the border of Ferris State’s campus.

Jan. 21


Barry County United Way

231 S. Broadway St.

Volunteers will be assembling 75 childhood literacy packets consisting of games and alphabet learning activities.

Jan. 21


United Way of the Lakeshore

31 E. Clay Ave.

Hosting a hygiene/non-perishable food items drive. Volunteers will be serving soup at United Way as well as organizing the donations.

Jan. 21

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.


STEM AmeriCorps United Way of Saginaw County

1781 Fordney St.

Making ready-to-prepare meals for underserved communities. Volunteers creating 200-300 glass jars for dried soup ingredients.

Jan. 18

Time: TBD


Habitat for Humanity

101 Burton St.


U of M-Flint students will help plan and execute the building process of free libraries to put in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Jan. 21

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Institute of RHYMES

1120 E. Kearsley St.

Designing a discussion platform in the form of a podcast that will allow for ongoing dialogue for Flint-area youth and how they are impacted by the Flint Water Crisis.

Jan. 20


Allen Neighborhood Center

1619 E. Kalamazoo St.


Volunteers building wooden garden boxes that will be installed in residents’ yards at no cost.

Jan. 21

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Tri-County Office on Aging Meals on Wheels

5303 S. Cedar St.

Holding a 2-day service project where groups of volunteers will be preparing and packaging meals at a larger rate than normal.

Jan. 20

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 1:30 -3:30 p.m.

 Jan. 21
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

St. Joseph United Way of Southwest Michigan

Literacy Kit Packing 401 8th St., Benton Harbor

Food for Soup Kitchen

233 Michigan St., Benton Harbor

Assembling literacy kits for children, shoveling snow, and hosting a food drive for a local soup kitchen.

Jan. 21

All Day


St. John’s Lutheran Church Youth Fellowship Time

132 S. Benjamin St.

Packaging food for the Kids Against Hunger Coalition (KAHC) – food packaged will be donated to their local food pantry and to the KAHC.

Jan. 18

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.


EMU VISION Volunteer Center

900 Oakwood St.

EMU students, staff and faculty volunteers will assist with these projects:  City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation, Food Gathers, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Dawn Farm, Riverside Arts Center, 826michigan and Recycle Ann Arbor.

Jan. 18


Kids Coalition Against Hunger

1116 S. Hickory Ridge Road

Assembling food packets to serve three areas equally: the local community, Kids Against Hunger Coalition and storage in warehouse for disaster relief.

Jan. 19

9 – 11:30 a.m.


Madonna University

36600 Schoolcraft Road

Volunteers label and distribute 2000 soap bars to motels – places where girls/women are at high risk of human trafficking; they also make 50 blankets for military patients at Angela Hospice.

Jan. 21

SOAP Labels: 12 p.m.

Blanket Making: 5 p.m.


Wayne State University

8646 Fullerton Ave.

Boarding up vacant and open houses, removing waste and trimming overgrown shrubbery. Improve the safety of the roads that Detroit Public Schools students use when walking to and from school.

Jan. 21

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Downtown Boxing Gym

STEAM and MLK activities Jan., 21