Tag Archives: YSA

Martin Luther King Day of Service

2 Feb

At Our Piece of the Pie (OPP), the main job of the Public Ally in my position each year is to coordinate Global Youth Service Day in Hartford, Connecticut. In early December, OPP received a grant from Youth Service America to be a Lead Organizer for Martin Luther King Day of Service. As a result, I was given the exciting opportunity to plan, organize, support, and track MLK Day of Service activities all over Connecticut. This added responsibility transformed December and January into demanding and hectic months, but the effort was well worth it!

Our Piece of the Pie partnered with Hands on Hartford and the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence to put together service projects and a Peace Vigil in Hartford over MLK Day Weekend. OPP’s AmeriCorps VISTAs and I reached out to non-profit organizations and schools planning MLK Day of Service activities all over the state (mostly focused in the Hartford-New Haven-Waterbury area) and put together a volunteer tracking system.  Through the Youth Service America grant, Our Piece of the Pie was able to support eleven MLK Day of Service projects organized by other Connecticut non-profits with $100 – $200 mini-grants.

For the MLK Day Weekend, Our Piece of the Pie reported over 1600 volunteers at 57 different service projects in over 20 different zip codes! The Beloved Community Peace Vigil planned by Our Piece of the Pie, Hands On Hartford, and CT Center for Nonviolence was covered in the Hartford Courant (pictures!).

We’re all connected in our work towards a Beloved Community! Here is a picture from Northwestern AHEC’s MLK Day (organized by Public Ally Jennifer Sweat!):Image

Since working with my AmeriCorps team last year to plan an MLK Day of Service and participating in multiple trainings and workshops on Kingian Nonviolence, I’ve become very interested in and influenced by Dr. King’s teachings. You may remember that some Connecticut Public Allies and I visited the MLK Memorial back in November. For my mid-year Presentation of Learning with Public Allies (which will be elaborated on in my next blog post), I used quotes from my favorite movies, songs, MLK speeches, and a quote from MLK’s D.C. memorial neighbor: FDR.

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of Dr. King’s passages that I used in my mid-year Presentation of Learning:

“You may even give your goods to feed the poor; you may bestow great gifts to charity; and you may tower high in philanthropy; but if you have not love, your charity means nothing.”

Any thoughts on this quote?

Philip Drew – Hartford, CT