TARRYTOWN, NY – February 11, 2019 – Throughout Westchester and Rockland County on the Saturday before Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and the National MLK Day holiday, 345 local community members came together to honor Dr. King through service to others. Volunteer New York!’s 9th Annual MLK Day of Service was wait-list only thanks to families and volunteers of all ages that had registered in advance, filling all available volunteer slots.
“MLK Day is a day we can choose to come together as volunteers, inspired by a message of hope and equality, and enact positive change by addressing local needs,” said Volunteer New York! Executive Director, Alisa H. Kesten. “This is a day that brings people together and connects them to the message of Dr. King in a very real and special way, which we’re thankful to be a part of.”
This year local MLK Day volunteers spent almost 750 hours in service to others. In just one day volunteers made 50 blankets for local children’s hospitals and created 113 math and literacy enrichment kits made to support head start programs. They made 492 laundry sachets made to support Hope’s Community Services. They assembled 40 Birthday-In-A-Bags that will go to providing disadvantaged youth their own birthday party through the Nyack Center. Volunteers also created 258 cards that were sent to troops overseas through United For The Troops and created over 360 recognition items for local veterans. Additional populations served by MLK Day volunteers were those experiencing homelessness and children on the autism spectrum. For more details, please visit www.volunteernewyork.org/MLK.
Special thanks to all supporting nonprofit partners, including our community-hubs that hosted this year’s MLK Day volunteers: Iona College, New Rochelle, NY; Project Morry, Elmsford, NY; and, Dominican College, Orangeburg, NY.
What is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Why is it a “Day of Service?”
Legislation signed in 1983 marked the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a federal holiday. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that leads service and volunteering, with leading this effort. Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a “day on, not a day off.” MLK Day of Service is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
For the past 9 years Volunteer New New York! has hosted MLK Day (typically on the Saturday before the recognized Monday holiday) locally as one of its two signature annual community-wide days of service, uniting thousands of volunteers to serve for shared causes and beliefs, supporting dozens of local nonprofits and creating countless memories for families that have served together.
About Volunteer New York! – The core mission of Volunteer New York! (volunteernewyork.org) is to inspire, mobilize, and equip individuals and groups to take positive action to address pressing challenges, support non-profits and improve the quality of life in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam. For more than 69 years the organization has encouraged adults to serve, youth to build character, families to bond, young professionals to lead, mature adults to share their wisdom and businesses to engage through volunteerism.
Volunteer New York! helped coordinate over 301,000 hours of service, which were devoted last year to over 500 nonprofits at a value of over $8.7 million. The Corporate Champions who strongly support the mission of Volunteer New York! include: Bunge Limited; MasterCard; PepsiCo; Regeneron; The Journal News & Lohud.com; Con Edison; Empire City Casino; Entergy; 96.7 K-LOVE Radio; Lifestyle Westchester; M&T Bank; Morgan Stanley; NewYork-Presbyterian; TD Bank; The Dannon Company; WMCHealth; Andersen Tax; PCSB Bank; PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP; Ranger Ready Repellents; RNN and The French Family; Robison Oil Corporation; The Affinity Group, LLC; IBM; MAG Real Estate Advisors, Inc.; New York Life; Pentegra Retirement Services; SL Green Realty Corp.; Webster Bank; and, Westmed Medical Group. Official media partners of Volunteer New York! who help amplify the message of local volunteer advocacy include: The Journal News & Lohud.com, K-LOVE Radio and Lifestyle Westchester.
With additional and ongoing support from Westchester County, Corporation for National & Community Service, and the New York State Commission on National and Community Service.