MLK Day 2011: Stories of Engagement, Emotion and Impact

It’s been one week since the 25th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, and the MLK Day of Service. Here at VolunteerMatch we’ve had the immense pleasure of receiving stories from volunteers and nonprofits about what was accomplished this year by those who chose to take the day “on” instead of off.

Turner FieldShonda spent her day at Turner Field ballpark in Atlanta, feeding the homeless with Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. A baseball field full of volunteers shocked her: “Just seeing all those people taking out time of there busy schedule to help was simply amazing!” she says. Shonda told us she was inspired by her experience to volunteer more throughout the next year.

Habitat for HumanitySamantha has been volunteering regularly since the beginning of 2010. “No one’s perfect,” she says. “That’s why we need chances to do good things.” On MLK Day this year she volunteered with Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, building houses for low-income people. “I think that Dr. King would be moved to tears by the things, all over the nation, that are being done in his name,” Samantha confides. “I mean, he was just a man, and look what he did.”

Erica’s school in Maryland hosted the 16th annual Martin Luther King breakfast. She spent her day volunteering as a waitress. With about 500 people in attendance at the event, this job was no walk in the park! But Erica says she was glad to lend a helping hand to people and organizations that need it.

Golden Gate National Recreation AreaOn MLK Day 2008, Beth and her niece traveled from California to Washington, D.C. to volunteer during Inauguration Week, putting together care packages for US troops along with First Lady Michelle Obama.  Continuing her tradition of service, this year on MLK Day Beth worked with the National Park Service at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, pulling weeds. “It was a cool, foggy day and the ground was muddy and wet,” she says. “But it was a pleasure to honor the life and work of Dr. King by making one of the country’s best national parks welcoming to visitors.”

Shonda, Samantha, Erica, and Beth all made a difference on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service this year. Their impact was felt not just by others, but in how their experiences affected them. We know that you all have similar stories of how your work and the work of your nonprofit impacted your communities and your volunteers on MLK Day. Kudos to everyone – volunteers and nonprofits alike – that participated in this amazing day!

What did your nonprofit do on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service? Share your story here.

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