In Features

MLK Day of Service Connects Volunteers to Communities

IMG_2895For the ninth year in a row, we hosted Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service events across the Triangle.  On January 20, 2014 over 2400 volunteers supported 35 community service events in Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties with United Way Signature Projects taking place in each county.

“We are committed to bringing communities together to achieve real change,” said Mack Koonce, CEO and president. “On this day, we did so in honor of Dr. King and the vision he exemplified—that together we can bring about lasting change to a neighborhood, a community, a state, and a nation.”

We partnered with North Carolina Central University to host the Durham County Signature Project on NCCU’s campus that welcomed 750 volunteers from the university and local companies.  The volunteers created 3600 individual soup mixes and pantry items, as well as hundreds of warm scarves, teddy bears and thousands of educational flash cards. MLK Day 2014-201

Items created by the volunteers filled a community store, along with children’s books and coats for the residents of McDougald Terrace.

At St. Mary’s School in Wake County, over 350 volunteers created similar items to support homeless shelters, food pantries, shelters for women and children, and early childhood education programs across the Triangle.

2014-01-20 00.00In Johnston and Orange counties, we hosted Community Reads Signature Projects that cultivated a passion for reading in young children.  Over 100 family members participated in group readings and skill enhancing activities and every child received a new book to continue reading at home.  Volunteers at these sites created flashcards, bookmarks, reading buddies, and other learning tools that will be shared with educational programs.

Over thirty additional United Way MLK Day of Service projects took place with nonprofits across MLK Day 2014-138the Triangle.  Volunteers oversaw building maintenance, small construction projects, gardening, painting and cleaning, delivering meals and many other activities.

According to Dr. King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” That philosophy of service to the community is at the core of what United Way does. 

In addition to coordinating the thousands of volunteers for the MLK Day of Service, United Way is committed to a culture of volunteerism every day of the year.  UWGT organizes over 19,000 volunteer hours each year at events like MLK Day of Service, National Volunteer Week and many others both large and small.  Find out more about volunteering at the United Way.

January 20th also launched the Forty Days of Peace Food, Hat and Sock Drives.  United Way of the Greater Triangle will collect non-perishable food items, winter hats, and warm socks to donate to our neighbors this winter through February 25.  If you would like to participate, please contact Natasha Wayne.

Quick Facts

Totals for all Triangle locations:

  • Volunteers: 2628
  • Volunteer Hours: 9288
  • Nonprofits Hosting Projects: 22
  • Community Members Participating in Community Reads: 125
  • Soup Mixes Created (4 servings): 2160
  • Rice Bags Created (4 servings): 3240
  • Bean Bags Created (4 servings): 3024
  • Servings of Meals: 20,736
  • Scarves Created: 1400
  • Bears Created: 264
  • Food Collected (through drive): 424
  • Books Distributed to Children in Community: 593

Thank you to all of our participants including:

Companies providing Lead Volunteers:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Wake Med
  • Wells Fargo

Companies participating on MLK Day:

  • Aspire
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Carolina Speech Pathology
  • Contactology
  • Hilton Durham (Duke University location)
  • Kirk & Associates
  • McDonalds Corporation
  • Novella Clinical
  • SunTrust Shine On Team
  • Wake Technical Community College

Community groups participating on MLK Day:

  • Abundant Hope Christian Church
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated – Alpha Theta Omega Chapter
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Psi Sigma Omega Chapter
  • AmeriCorp
  • Capital City Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
  • Charged to Help
  • Courageous Youth
  • Delta Sigma Pi – UNC
  • Denning for Clerk of Court
  • Durham Ushers Union Youth Group
  • Enloe High School Key Club
  • Fayetteville State University
  • Girl Scout Troop 63
  • Grey Stone Church Youth Group
  • Harnett County Helpers
  • Jack & Jill RaleighWake JrTeens
  • Kappa Phi Lambda
  • Kirk of Kildaire
  • MBA Helpers
  • Movement of Youth
  • N.C. Justice Center
  • NC Sierra Club
  • North Carolina School of Science and Math
  • Paneh
  • Partners-4-Youth
  • Pleasant Grove Church Children & Youth
  • Public Allies North Carolina
  • Raleigh National Hampton Alumni Association
  • Saint Augustine’s University Falcons
  • Saint Mary’s School
  • Shore
  • Students of Jordan and Hillside High School
  • Swing Society Mentoring Program
  • UNC aKDPhi
  • WWF
  • YO: Durham