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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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1/6/2013 10:00:00 PM
MLK Day offers plenty of volunteer opportunities
Special to the Courier

For the sixth year in a row, hundreds of residents across Yavapai County are expected to turn out on the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday to make the annual Day of Service a day on, not a day off, by volunteering. Serve Yavapai, a project of Prescott College, in collaboration with Yavapai County AmeriCorps Project at Community Counts, (http://www.arizonaserve.org) has planned a day of service that will leverage the strength of local citizens to address community needs and opportunities today, tomorrow and beyond. Volunteers in Yavapai County will join hundreds of thousands of Americans who are participating in MLK Day of Service projects in all 50 states as our country continues to honor the legacy of Dr. King by volunteering on this national holiday.

On Jan. 21, Serve Yavapai will host service projects that will go on to support local schools, veterans and military families, and our environment. A centralized kickoff celebration will take place in the morning of MLK Day with a keynote address to rally participants around the life and legacy of Dr. King. Serve Yavapai is hosting this day of activities in hopes of inspiring volunteerism throughout the year and helping communities county-wide improve their access to services that provide basic needs; support out local schools, and honor the accomplishments of our veterans and service men and women. With a focus on education, literacy and employment for all people in Arizona, volunteers can participate in meaningful work to help each other grow and connect with a sense of unity and compassion for each other's efforts.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Kickoff is Monday, Jan. 21 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 630 Park Ave., Prescott. Registration is from 10 to 11 a.m., the kickoff celebration is from 11 a.m. to noon. The Projects are from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Service projects are:

1. Northern Arizona VA Hospital - "Out with the Old"- Clean out attic storage area. Honor those who fought for our country by improving the facilities of Northern Arizona VA Hospital.

2. Prescott Unified School District/ Humboldt Unified School District - "Wouldn't it be cool to help out the schools?"- Support local schools by providing school grounds maintenance. Projects will include painting, weeding, cleaning and replacing basketball hoops. Schools will include: Miller Valley Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Mile High Middle School, Glassford Hill Middle School, Coyote Springs Elementary School, Lake Valley Elementary School, and Bright Futures Pre-School.

3. Boys and Girls Club - "Outdoor Cleanup"- The Boys and Girls Club provides a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. By weeding, trash pickup, organizing storage areas, organizing large closet, and painting everyone can continue to support our youth.

For more information, contact Yanina Rivera, VISTA Leader and Events Coordinator for Serve Yavapai, at 848-7870 or yrivera@ycvp.org.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Please

While you are all growing and connecting with each other, enjoying that feeling of unity and compassion, just make sure you don't do anything to hold our government's feet to the fire to address the pressing needs of our own people. That would only remind us of MLK and make us feel bad, so have a great, fun time!

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2013
Article comment by: I Have A Dream too

It is a travesty that the message of MLK is being whitewashed along with his memorial. Pretty soon people will think his 'I Have A Dream' speech is about his dreaming of everyone volunteering.

He was assassinated because he spoke Truth to Power, but now his words are being watered down and forgotten, and his holiday turned into day of feel-good volunteering that would be more appropriate for a Johnny Appleseed Day.

MLK courageously spoke up against government policy and boldly and openly addressed the issues of Poverty, Racism, Injustice, and the Evil of Wars. But now we honor all that by feel-good volunteering? That idea HAS to have originated in DC to make up for their cuts in social programs.

It is a travesty that so many of MLK's words are still unheard and unheeded. Why not have a day where kids memorize and give parts of his many powerful speeches? Oh, right, that would be too relevant and controversial, just like his life was.

I Have A Dream that one day Americans will have real convictions and the courage to speak openly about them.

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