Philly Fellows Renee King (third from the right) and Rachel Berger (last on the right) pose with other volunteers after a day of litter removal and beautification around Stinger Park in Grays Ferry, South Philly.
Looking back: 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ’s legacy, volunteers across the country made #MLKDay a day of service, instead of a day off, to strengthen their communities.Our Philly Fellows were no exception! The Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service is the largest King Day event in the nation, so there were plenty of service opportunities across the city for the Philly Fellows to join in on with their host agencies and with other organizations.
We strive to make MLK Day something special and try to be deliberate about how we honor the legacy of the civil rights icon at the local level. The event has only been recognized as a holiday in all 50 states since 2000 (though it was first observed in 1986) and for it’s 17th celebration, we wanted to share some anecdotes about what our fellows did in the community:
- Philly Fellows collectively dedicated over 80 hours of service that day doing activities ranging from removing litter to organizing medical records
- Fellow Summer Sloane-Britt used her background in art to volunteer at an art auction where over 100 Philadelphia-area artists who submitted work to be auctioned to raise money for local organizations
Collective Action PHL raised over $20K at their fundraiser
- Fellow Caitlin Weiss organized records for Puentes de Salud, a local nonprofit that supports the complete health and wellbeing of South Philadelphia’s rapidly growing Latino immigrant population.
- Fellow RJ Tischler participated in a three hour National SEED Project diversity training with coworkers in their latest session in a monthly series, during which he facilitated personal reflection and testimony, meaningful dialogue, and experiential and collective learning.
- Fellow Olivia Ortiz worked with her host agency, the Philadelphia Parks Alliance to help out at a local rec center to continue the great work she is doing in revitalizing and re-energizing the communities they are in.
Fellow Olivia Ortiz helps organize community members at a wall sitting event in Philly
- Lastly, our fellows Renee King and Rachel Berger, along with VISTA Leader Chris Capron worked in and around Stinger Park in South Philly, removing litter in the park right next to Alcorn Elementary School and cleaned up neighboring lots and a local church garden.
We are proud that our fellows continue the AmeriCorps VISTA tradition of giving back rather than taking off and are proud to have joined the hundreds of other AmeriCorps members across southeastern Pennsylvania in serving their communities. Since 1996, some 700,000 volunteers across our region have honored Dr. King’s legacy through volunteer service and we look forward to continuing that tradition. To learn more about MLK Day of service activities in the region, please visit The Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service website.