His Hope, His Dream, Our Responsiblity. MLK Celebration!

By Whitney McKelvey, AmeriCorps member

AmeriCorps Members at STA Bus Plaza

Martin Luther King Jr. courageously shared his dream in hopes of equality for all men, women and children. Over 80 AmeriCorps members and staff congregated together on January 16, 2012 to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. by continuing in his fight for equal opportunity and to celebrate diversity. AmeriCorps members first listened to the insightful reflection of community leaders and the passionate speeches of Reverend Percy “Happy” Watkins and Reverend Dr. Stephen J. Thurston.

AmeriCorps members and staff, along with over 3,000 supporters, marched from INB Performing Art Center to Riverpark Square (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/jan/17/united-for-equality/).

MLK March

Members held the AmeriCorps banner up high with pride as everyone marched to the beautiful beat of Native American drummers and high school band. As AmeriCorps marched past police officers a kind “thank you” was said to each officer in gratitude for their service and dedication to protecting all the participants.

After the march, Washington Reading Corps led a well organized children’s fair with the help of the Spokane Service Team at the STA Bus Plaza. All children were welcome to make fun arts and crafts, such as friendship bracelets and lamb costumes out of paper bags. AmeriCorps was able to give away over 500 books thanks to the donations of local nonprofits and individuals in the community.

Thank you to all AmeriCorps members, staff and family who volunteered and participated in the Martin Luther King events. AmeriCorps continues to dedicate its work every day to “Getting Things Done”. People in the Spokane community recognize the dedication and positive impact AmeriCorps volunteers have on the community. Spokane Mayor David Condon captured the essence of the AmeriCorps mission as he said,

“Though we celebrate Martin Luther King Day just one day a year, we are working to live out the principles he taught us every day.”

Season of Service 2011

Tis the season for AmeriCorps members to venture out into the Spokane community and make a positive impact. Season Of Service is a month long volunteering project, where individuals partner with local nonprofits to the serve the Spokane community during the holiday season.
Season of Service kick-off was a huge success, as ESD101 Riverside Office hosted a celebration, Holiday Sweater Party on December 6th, 2011. Over 80 AmeriCorps members, family, friends and staff came together to sing Christmas carols and hear stories from Santa. Participants decorated 175 cards for Meals on Wheels and 200 cards for veterans. After eating a delicious dinner of lasagna and green salad, representatives from local nonprofits presented to those who attended; offering volunteering opportunities in December.

Particapating nonprofit organizations with contact information:

1. Toys for Tots -Joshua Wiese-(509)327-4216 ext.7

2. Meals on Wheels -Sarah Robertsons-(509)924-6976

3. First Night Spokane -Lona Barnum-(509)456-0508

4. 2nd Harvest -Debbie Clemens-(509)252-6257

5. Mission Community Outreach -Mark Kinney-(509)499-5809

Everyone left the celebration excited and ready to serve!