BY ERIN MCGRATH, OPERATIONS AND VISTA PROGRAM MANAGER, THE HUB
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on January 20, 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
The Corporation for National and Community Service has been charged to lead this effort for the last quarter-century, and AmeriCorps members across West Virginia took part in the national day of service to give back to their communities. The team at The Hub supports a network of AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in communities across the state. A few of those VISTA members have volunteer placements for their year of service with our organization, and also we support VISTAs serving with other community development-focused organizations in West Virginia (You can check out more about our VISTA program here!).
Dr. King once said, “The time is always right to do the right thing,” and these AmeriCorps VISTA members decided to take this opportunity to assemble comfort kits for people experiencing homelessness in West Virginia.
These kits will be distributed through the annual Point In Time (PIT) Count, which occurs at the end of January, by the Kanawha Valley Collective and the WV Coalition to End Homelessness. A total of 66 kits were assembled thanks to the generosity of our subsites and their volunteers, as well as the Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau, St. John’s Charleston, Constellium, Game Stop, Sheetz, and more.
Our VISTAs also attended and participated in “A Day To Remember the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” at the Kelly Miller Community Center in the Monticello community of Clarksburg. Speakers reflected on the importance of Dr. King’s legacy and the work ahead to be done towards a more racially equitable future. The keynote speaker was Katherine “Kitty” Dooley. Attendees also heard music from Morning Star Baptist Chuch’s choir. A highlight of the evening was when all the attendees were asked to stand together and sing Lift Every Voice and Sing:
Our gratitude goes out to everyone in West Virginia who took part in the Day of Service and in honoring the memory of Dr. King!