Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

January 15, 2016

Cambridge MLK Day of Service – Monday, January 18, 2016

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 1:12 pm

Cambridge MLK Day of Service Event
More Than 2,000 Volunteers Expected

Many Helping HandsOn Monday, January 18, 2016, Many Helping Hands 365, along with representatives from other agencies, will lead community volunteers in projects to benefit the homeless, homebound elderly, and children and families in honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. This event is one of the largest community service events in New England.

Service projects will take place at the YWCA and Cambridge City Hall from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. There will also be a brief welcome gathering for this year’s MLK Day of Service on the steps of City Hall at 2:00pm.

Volunteers can register in advance at http://manyhelpinghands365.org/registration-mlk/.

"Cambridge is an extraordinary and generous community," said Lori Lander, the chief organizer and founder of Many Helping Hands 365 and the Cambridge MLK Day of Service. "Last year, we had over 2,500 volunteers, and we expect many more this year."

During the free community event, local volunteers of all ages stop in at one of several Central Square locations to "lend a helping hand" to neighbors in need. They make fleece blankets for children at Cambridge’s family shelters and homeless adults found sleeping outdoors; bookmarks for literacy programs; Valentine’s Day cards for elders served by Meals-on-Wheels as well as Cambridge veterans and military personnel; and activity kits for the children of families in need. Thanks to donations from generous Cambridge hotels, volunteers also assemble toiletries kits for people served by the city’s domestic violence and homeless shelters, sort food donations for food pantries and organize donations of clothing for a variety of programs.

Thousands of individuals and more than 70 different Cambridge service organizations benefit from the city-wide event.

"I was thrilled to bring my child to the inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in Cambridge and many years since," said volunteer Corinne Espinoza, a parent at the Amigos School. "What better way to teach him about our legacy of civic engagement, work towards social justice and equality, and determined service than to have a "day on" instead of a "day off."

"The needs in our community are great," said former Cambridge Mayor David Maher. "Raising the awareness of these needs takes a sustained effort, and we hope many who volunteer at the Many Helping Hands MLK Day of Service will make an ongoing commitment to serve in the Cambridge community throughout the year."

He added: "There is no better way to honor the work and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. than by serving your community. The Many Helping Hands MLK Day of Service brings together residents from all neighborhoods of our city to work together and to improve their community. It is truly inspiring to see thousands of Cambridge residents from all backgrounds join together to volunteer and to serve in honor of Dr. King’s life and teachings."

Volunteers are asked to not come empty-handed and to donate items such as winter clothing, non-perishable food, and children’s books. The event is free and all ages are welcome. Volunteers can register in advance at http://manyhelpinghands365.org/registration-mlk/.

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