Hundreds of Volunteers Make a Difference During Third Annual MLK Days of Service, January 18 to 21
MEMPHIS, Tenn., – Volunteer Memphis and Leadership Memphis connected more than 1,000 Mid-South volunteers with over 30 partner organizations across ten counties to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy through more than 2,000 hours of volunteer service as part of the Third Annual MLK Days of Service January 18 to 21. Mid-South volunteers were joined by hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country on this national day of service.
“We answered Dr. King’s call to serve and make a difference in the lives of all Mid-South residents,” said Andrea Hill, Director for Volunteer Memphis. “Volunteer service is a powerful tool that unites us around a common purpose and builds strong communities. In the spirit of Dr. King’s legacy, we are putting the core American principles of citizenship and service into action right here in the Greater Memphis area.”
In 2019, Volunteer Memphis celebrated MLK Days of Service in the Mid-South by hosting nearly one hundred volunteer projects throughout the weekend of January 18 to 21. The 2019 initiative included projects, partners, and volunteers across ten Mid-South counties, including Fayette, Haywood, Lauderdale, Marshall, Shelby, and Tipton counties in Tennessee; DeSoto, Tate, and Tunica counties in Mississippi; and Crittenden County in Arkansas. Volunteers collected more than 100 bags of trash, planted more than 40 trees, collected and distributed hundreds of items for the homeless and toys for patients at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Also included was a “Becoming a Mentor” activity with MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies. Other events included:
- Tire to Trails Kick-Off at T.O. Fuller State Park – volunteers collected more than 10,000 dumped tires to be used in the construction of a 3-mile long walking and biking trail. The trail will be made up of more than 40,000 tires collected around the Memphis Area and, when it is complete, it will be one of the longest porous trails in the world.
- MLGW Weatherization and Energy Conservation Project at Orange Mound Community Center – volunteers caulked, and weather-stripped windows and doors, delivered energy kits door-to-door, replaced HVAC filters and light bulbs, picked up trash and served refreshments
- Treadwell Middle School Clean Up – volunteers installed solar panels in the park and around the walking trail, picked up trash on the school campus, cleaned up around the property and re-freshened the flower beds.
- Orgill Park Golf Course and Edmund Orgill Park Clean Up – Volunteers worked on several painting projects, installed new animal proof trash receptacles and new park benches, built an ADA Compliant bridge across the creek, pruned trees, picked up limbs, and removed debris.
- Read Aloud Activity at Glenview Community Center – Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority led a reading activity with area
- Indoor Chores at Memphis Botanic Garden – Volunteers prepared materials for upcoming youth education events that teach the over 40,000 children who visit the Garden.
- Memphis City Beautiful and Clean Memphis lead several clean-up projects at the parks, public spaces, and community properties throughout the region.
MLK Days of Service shine a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge economic and social divides – in January and throughout the year. National Days of Service provide Americans with an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to tackle community challenges and strengthen the nation.
2019 Sponsors for MLK Days of Service:
FedEx, Memphis Tourism, AutoZone, Sedgwick, OutFront Media, The Commercial Appeal, WMC Action News 5, Baker Donelson, Buckman, Caesars Entertainment, CHAMPION, First Tennessee Foundation, Georgia – Pacific Memphis Cellulose, Jerry & Nina Patton Family Foundation, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Regional One Health, Vaco
2019 Partners for MLK Days of Service:
Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club, City of Memphis, City of Memphis AmeriCorps Vista Program, Elmwood Cemetery, Highland Oaks Park, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis City Beautiful, Clean Memphis, LiveGiveMidsouth, Leadership Bartlett, Leadership Germantown, Lupus Foundation of America – Mid-South Chapter, MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis Light Gas & Water, Memphis Public Libraries, Memphis Tilth, Mid-South Food Bank, New Ballet Ensemble, Pink Palace Museum, St. Francis Healthcare, School Seed Foundation, Shelby County Commission, Shelby County Parks & Ground Maintenance Department, TN Department of Environment & Conservation-TN State Parks, United Way of the Mid-South, West TN Arts Council, West TN Urban Forestry Council, The Withers Collection
Left to right: Brock Hill (Deputy Commissioner of TDEC), David Salyers (Commissioner of TDEC), Lee Harris (Mayor of Shelby County), Michael Meister (Trails and Vistas Administrator for Tennessee State Parks), Raumesh Akbari (State Senator), Barbra Cooper (State Representative), Jim Strickland (mayor of the city of Memphis), Van Rutherford (president of the Friends of T.O. Fuller State Park) at the kick off of the Tires to Trails project at T.O. Fuller State Park.
Left to right: Worth Morgan (City of Memphis – City Council – District 5), Angela Hill (Administrator, Parks and Grounds Maintenance – Shelby County Government), Frankie Dakin (Public Outreach Liaison – Shelby County Government), and David Bradford (Shelby County Commissioner – District 2) at the MLK Days of Service Kick-Off.
Caesars Entertainment HERO volunteers make sure everyone at the MLK Days of Service Kick-Off enjoys some delicious refreshments.
Volunteers from Buffalo Soldiers MC Memphis hand out care packages and hot cocoa to the homeless.
Volunteers with West TN Urban Forestry Council clean up and beautify Spanish American War Memorial Park.
FedEx Cares volunteers assist in updating the Leadership Memphis Database at the Leadership Memphis office.
Volunteer Memphis can be found online at:
About Volunteer Memphis:
Volunteer Memphis builds capacity for effective volunteering and connecting people with opportunities to serve throughout Memphis and Shelby County. The organization helps individuals, families, corporate teams and community groups strengthen Memphis and the Mid-South through service at more than 300 nonprofit organizations and schools. Our volunteers are at work every day of the year tutoring and mentoring children, helping individuals and families make pathways out of poverty, improving our Memphis and Shelby County environment and more. Volunteer Memphis is an affiliate of the Hands On Network, an association of 250 volunteer service organizations across 16 countries and an action Initiative of Leadership Memphis.
About Leadership Memphis:
Leadership Memphis is a non-profit, community leadership development organization. Its mission is to prepare and mobilize leaders to work together for the good of the whole community. Founded in 1977 as The Memphis Institute of Public Responsibility, the organization has trained and graduated more than 3,000 leaders from its signature programs: Executive, FastTrack, Criminal/Juvenile Justice, and Grassroots. Its Action Initiatives are Volunteer Memphis and Graduate Memphis.
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