Friday, January 18, 2013

VISTAs organize, serve on MLK Day

Over the MLK Day weekend, many NC Campus Compact VISTAs will coordinate service events for their campus and community host sites. Others will serve on projects with fellow AmeriCorps members.

At Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, VISTA Takira Dale is supporting the MLK Read-In Day on January 19th to promote literacy and service to young children. Participating children will receive a book on the theme of civil-rights, and volunteer reading buddies will read and complete community service activities with the kids. Takira is working in partnership with other national service members from HandsOn Northwest NC and student volunteers from WFU and partner campuses Winston-Salem State University and Salem College. Read about the event in the Winston Salem Chronicle.

At Lenoir-Rhyne University VISTA Ariel Mitchell expects over 50 volunteers to serve in honor of MLK Day at 5 community sites, including two local soup kitchens and her community partner, Centro Latino.

In Durham, VISTA Jeri Beckens is managing a canned food drive to help local food banks, part of Duke University's larger MLK Day of Service event. Led by former Campus Compact VISTA (and current Duke Durham Neighborhood Partnership staff member) Neil Hoefs, Duke's MLK Million Meals Event sets a goal to engage 1,000 volunteers to package thousands of meals through Stop Hunger Now.

In Wilmington, Feast Down East VISTA member Erin O'Donnell will team up with a local Food Corps volunteer to organize community and campus volunteers to build the LINC garden. LINC is a local non-profit that helps ex-offenders and at-risk youth become productive community members.

At Elizabeth City State University VISTAs Tiara Pugh and Marion Hudson are using an NC Campus Compact MLK Day grant to organize a event with two other local campuses, Mid-Atlantic University and College of the Albermarle to carry out an MLK Day of Service at various community sites.

In Chapel Hill, two Campus Compact VISTA's, the Jackson Center's Monica Palmiera and UNC Chapel Hill's Saarah Abdul-Rauf, are working with the Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate Program to host a discussion dinner in honor of MLK Day so participants can talk about how to improve education for children.

A number of other Campus Compact VISTA members will coordinate service events in their communities this weekend, including Queens VISTA Christina D'Aulerio, UNC Greensboro VISTA Anya Piotrowski, Durham Tech VISTA Sally Parlier, Wake Tech VISTA Jennifer Evans, Virginia Tech VISTA Wyatt Taylor, UNC Asheville VISTA Sara Brown, and ECU VISTA Elizabeth Corney.