Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged AmeriCorps the Agency with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service — a “day on, not a day off.” The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
Since 1999, Barnstable County AmeriCorps Cape Cod (ACC) has celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a “Day On” that brings service opportunities to the Cape Cod community. The program is eagerly preparing for the 2023 MLK Day that will occur on Monday, January 16th, 2023. The theme of the event is “Growing Toward Justice Together” with a focus on environmental sustainability, healthy habits, and more. The event will be located at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center between 10 AM and 2 PM where volunteers will operate multiple educational stations engaging participants in creating container gardens, healthy cooking demonstrations, and hands-on children’s activities. Participants will have an opportunity to take home their own home garden starter kit as well as ingredients to make a healthy dish. During the event, the program will collect food and clothing donations that will go directly to Cape Cod food pantries.
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On MLK day, we will bring our community closer and grow toward justice together!
20+ Years of Our MLK Day of Service:
Year 4: ACC members and volunteers painted condominiums for the organization Living Independently Forever, Inc. (LIFE). This organization encourages and facilitates adults with learning disabilities to live independently.
Year 7: ACC gave a few bathrooms a fresh coat of paint at Champ Homes and the library inside of the Carriage House
Year 9: ACC members and volunteers gathered to make 14 quilts, which were later donated to Independence House, Champ Homes, Helping Our Women, A Baby Center, Falmouth Service Center, and Barnstable County.
Year 11: ACC and volunteers collected nearly 4,000 food items and were distributed to the Harwich Family Pantry.
Year 13: ACC and volunteers construct garden beds for a local farm!
Canal Clean Up
Since 2000, AmeriCorps Cape Cod and US ACE have partnered to engage and educate the community about the importance of keeping the Cape Cod Canal clean. The Cape Cod Canal is the widest sea-level canal in the world. Measuring at 480 feet wide and cutting through almost 7 miles of land, the Canal is what makes Cape Cod an island. It is maintained and operated by the U.S. ACE. The Cape Cod Canal offers a variety of recreational opportunities for both visitors and locals. Many enjoy walking, biking, and fishing along the Canal’s service roads and shores.
AmeriCorps Cape Cod and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (U.S. ACE) are celebrating Earth Day by hosting the 21st Annual Cape Cod Canal Clean-Up on Saturday, April 23rd from 10 AM to 2 PM.
Cape Cod Canal Clean-Up is a great opportunity to serve the community, and it’s also a lot of fun! For the first time ever, the day-long event will take place at several recreation areas along both sides of the Canal to allow for safe, social distancing. Each site will feature educational booths/activities and refreshments for volunteers. Clean-up supplies such as gloves, buckets, and pickers, will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own.
Join us as we work together to keep the Canal beautiful and safe for the future! To register, visit: https://forms.gle/rTmQ3v71SKSX6vDz6.
National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week, a program of Points of Light, was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week across the nation. It’s about inspiring and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities, and demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.
Year 15: National Volunteer Week was “All Access Brewster”-Broader access points to the community and recreational sites across the town of Brewster were constructed by AmeriCorps members and local volunteers.
Year 17: National Volunteer Week was “Celebrating the Cape Cod National Seashore Centennial”- we partnered with the Cape Cod National Seashore, holding service projects to help prepare “Our Park” for their centennial celebration that summer.
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