MLK Day Of Service

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps members serving in Northeast Florida alongside dedicated community members approached service through community revitalization. With shovels, rakes, and a commitment to service, members renovated several properties on the day commemorating Dr King's contributions to mankind. With the help of local organizations such as Lowes, the Eastside Community Coalition, local garden shops, and individual community members, we were able to transform properties run by service organizations such as the Salvation Army and the Liberty Center. This annual event honors Dr. King’s legacy and is an opportunity for people to renew their own personal vows of civic responsibility through service to others and engage in conversations to advance humanity's goals.

Several members began their day at the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is an organization serving the community as an emergency shelter, a community kitchen, and a food pantry. The waiting area for the food pantry was a drab corner filled with rocks, weeds, and litter, but our members were able to transform this area into a charming courtyard with the help and guidance of Salvation Army maintenance staff. Providing a well-kept waiting area for individuals receiving services from The Salvation Army reinforces the community’s values of inclusion for those experiencing hardship. We are grateful to have been a part of this effort.

*Before*

*After*

Several streets down from The Salvation Army, another group of National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps members began their day at Liberty Center properties. The Liberty Center is an organization that provides the community with a variety of social services: affordable housing programs, employment assistance, vocational services, educational services, counseling, referrals, and nightly meals for residents all free of charge. Our group's goal was to clean up properties managed by the Liberty Center by removing weeds, clearing dead branches, planting flowers, and cleaning up debris. We were able to accomplish this goal with the guidance of property staff members and some awesome volunteers!

*Before*

*After*

2 blocks from the Liberty Center properties, National Health Corps members along with local volunteers revitalized a community garden. The small plot of land was originally started to address the shortage of healthy, green foods available to local residents in the area. Without proper maintenance, the property became choked with overgrown weeds. Recently, the property was acquired by the Eastside Community Coalition, a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving community needs. Through a partnership, our organization alongside the Eastside Community Coalition and local community members were able to restore the community garden.

*Before*

*After*

We are proud of the effort contributed by each and every member of the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps Program. The community of Jacksonville is also very fortunate to have such caring organizations and individuals willing to spend their time taking care of those in need in the community. We hope that our humble expression of appreciation for the community of Jacksonville, FL and its residents will make even the slightest positive contribution. In the words of Dr King, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." Through acts of kindness, the legacy of Dr King lives on through us and all those that strive to achieve a more equitable, caring world.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog was written by the NHC FL AmeriCorps Service Project Committee. 

Left to Right

Haley Barefoot, Jason Dossantos, Wesley Ha, Kelsey McKenna