New Castle County is recruiting individuals and groups of all kinds to create community service projects for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 16.
“We encourage groups from large nonprofits and workplace volunteers to faith-based organizations and youth clubs to get involved by planning their own, unique efforts to help others on this important day,” County Executive Thomas P. Gordon said.
“We all can to something, from collecting donations of food or new socks for the homeless to major facility improvement projects for services that help those in need,” Gordon added. “What Martin Luther King Jr. – a personal hero of mine -- told a crowd in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1957 is just as true today: ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’’”
The county is honored to have been asked by the MLK Day of Service organization based in Philadelphia to recruit, register and track projects throughout New Castle County for the January event, said General Manager Sophia Hanson of the county’s Department of Community Services.
To register a project, call that department, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at (302) 395-5613.
All projects that sign up with the county will become part of the national record of community service, registered with the 22nd Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, which is the largest King Day event in the United States and last year involved tens of thousands of volunteers in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, Hanson said.
The regional organization suggests many ways to get involved, including volunteering to take direct action, donating goods or funds to benefit others and advocating to inspire others.
For volunteering opportunities in New Castle County that could inspire MLK Day projects, visit www.nccde.org/volunteer.
Those involved in projects registering with New Castle County will be encouraged to share photos of their efforts, to be posted on county Facebook pages in recognition. The county also will publicize registered projects to encourage support and donations, Hanson said.
The first six Martin Luther King Day projects to register with the county all seek volunteers to help with their efforts on January 16.
- MLK’s Letters to Haiti, 10 a.m.-noon at Walnut Street YMCA, 1000 N. Walnut St., Wilmington – Join or assist young writers composing letters to children living in orphanages in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne, Haiti, among more than 400,000 orphans in that country. Letters will be bundled with children’s books and shipped to Haiti. 25 volunteers needed. Contact Tasheena Friend at Tcfriend@nccde.org or (302) 395-5613.
- MLK Jr. Peace Walk, starts 11 a.m. at Fourth and Jackson streets, Wilmington, ending with community celebration at Be Ready Church, Fourth and Rodney streets. Join the community’s fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Walk and Community Celebration, a unique and interactive resource fair to connect the community to existing programs and organizations. About 20 volunteers are needed to assist with resource tables, serve food or work stage crew. Contact Vanity Constance at email@example.com or (302) 658-4171, ext. 185.
- Absalom Jones Senior & Community Center MLK Day of Service, starts at 10 a.m. at Absalom Jones Community Center, 310 Kiamensi Road. This project – intended to be the first of many years – will paint classrooms, a kitchen, halls, lockers and a mural in this important and historic center that first served as a school and now houses a county-run community center, senior center, art studio and after-school programs. About 50 volunteers are needed. Contact Susan Eggert at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 395-5651.
- Rose Hill Community Center’s “Operation Indoor Detailing,” 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Rose Hill Community Center, 19 Lambson Lane near New Castle. About 10 volunteers are needed to help community leaders clean one of Delaware’s most active youth centers. Contact Sheila Berkel at email@example.com or (302) 395-5651.
- NCC Headstart Kitchen Cleaning, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the NCC Headstart Program at 19 Lambson Lane near New Castle. About 10 volunteers are needed to do deep cleaning of the kitchen that serves preschool children in the busy Headstart Program at Rose Hill Community Center. Contact Tammy Hammond at (302) 333-4542.
- Faithful Friends Animal Society’s Cats for Peace, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-8 p.m., at Faithful Friends, 12 Germay Drive, Germay Industrial Park near Elsmere. Show love and care for furry, four-legged friends by helping with cat care, laundry, dishes and stuffing Kong toys for dogs. About seven volunteers are needed in each time slot. Contact Brittany Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or (302) 427-8514, ext. 102.