While many businesses and organizations were closed Monday, February 19 for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the 23 North Florida Health Corps AmeriCorps members had “a day on, not a day off.”
The Health Corps joined AmeriCorps members and other volunteers across the country for the MLK Day of Service, a national day of service led by the Corporation for National and Community Service in honor of Dr. King’s legacy. It is intended not to be a day off, but instead an opportunity for people across the country to come together and help achieve Dr. King’s vision of a “beloved community.”
Service Projects at Jacksonville’s Farm Share and Clara White Mission focused on food security in the Jacksonville community. Members served over 5,000 individuals at the Farm Share food giveaway, an event organized by Jacksonville’s Martin Luther King Foundation. Members packed food items into bags for the attendees to take home and helped carry the food to their cars. Members also sorted and organized a variety of non-perishable food items at the Clara White Mission to help the soup kitchen better serve Jacksonville’s homeless population. Both service projects allowed the Corps to realize areas of need in the community, work systematically to tackle food insecurity and stand united to honor Dr. Martin Luther King.
At the Sulzbacher Center, an organization providing comprehensive services to Northeast Florida’s homeless population, members put on a Sulzbacher Family Unity Night. The event honored Dr. King’s commitment to make the world a better place by unifying families and inspiring children make positive change for future generations.
The event included food, a reading of Don’t Try to Kiss a Lizard by local children’s book author/illustrator T.L Randall, raffle prizes and a “We Have a Dream” craft activity where residents made artwork to illustrate their dreams. The “We Have a Dream” artwork will be hung as a collective collage at the Sulzbacher Center for the next few weeks to both remind residents of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy and inspire them to keep dreaming despite difficult circumstances.