A Warm Day In January
Local Churches Gather For Martin Luther King Day of Service.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 2, 2012
January is a cold month. Last January was no exception, but more than 400 people found warmth at the Unitarian Society of Germantown on Lincoln Drive in Mt. Airy. They gathered to participate in the 2011 Martin Luther King Day of Service. The volunteers completed 24 projects that helped the disadvantaged in the local community.
This year there will be just as many opportunities to serve. Children can make posters and decorate lunch bags. Older kids can read them stories about Martin Luther King, Jr. Their parents can assemble 1000 bag lunches for homeless shelters and 250 breakfast bags for Meals On Wheels.
These are a few of the many ways to participate in the Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 16. At the Unitarian Society of Germantown on Lincoln Drive, the day starts with coffee and bagels at 8:30 AM and ends with a wrap-up lunch at 12:30 PM.
“We want our volunteers to have a good experience,” said Kevin Donahue, the co-chair of the Day of Service. “Each project has a team leader who assures that the volunteers have the opportunity to do some meaningful work.”
Kevin, a member of the Wellsprings Congregation in Chester County, is organizing this effort with the help of many local churches, including Summit Presbyterian Church, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pottstown, the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, and Main Line Unitarian Church.
Most of the projects are at nearby neighborhood sites. Forty-five volunteers will help to clean the Germantown and Wissahickon Boys and Girls Clubs. Twenty others will be visiting Cliveden Convalescent Center and fifteen will interact with the residents of Kaysim Court Manor. Fifteen will undertake cleaning projects at Stenton Family Manor and twenty will help seniors with household projects. Twenty more will be outside removing trash from local streets.
Four projects will be in Norristown. Thirty will visit the ACPPA Community Art Center. Twenty will clean the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center, and the Norristown Ministries Hospitality Center will take twelve volunteers.
“We are planning for 400 volunteers,” said Kevin, who credits USG member Nancy Dearden with coordinating most of the projects. “Their work, and the kind donations of our contributors, will make our neighborhood a brighter place.”
Additional service projects will take place in Center City Philadelphia and Norristown. The Unitarian Society of Germantown is one of many area churches providing services on Martin Luther King Day. “Service is an exercise in compassion,” says Rev. Kent Matthies, minister of the church on Lincoln Drive. “Acts of compassion make our neighborhood a warmer place where all of us want to live.”
Volunteers can get more information and register to help at the event’s web site: www.mlkphillyuus.org. The Unitarian Society of Germantown is at 6511 Lincoln Drive. Parking is in the rear off Johnson Street.