On the Monday before storm hit, many Philadelphians made use of the federal holiday the way Martin Luther King would have wanted: by serving others.
Organized by Global Citizen, the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service is the largest King Day in the country. Over 125,000 people engaged in service projects across the region.
The day began at Girard College with a spirited kickoff from Global Citizen CEO Todd Bernstein and Mayor Michael Nutter, among other speakers. And although the college’s armory was buzzing with volunteers donating food and clothes, making crafts for the elderly, and writing letters to soldiers, the real magic of the day could be seen in the small pockets of the city, the efforts energized by community heroes looking to beautify their neighborhoods.
Some of these efforts were organized by the PhillyRising Collaborative. Managing Director Rich Negrin stopped by to lend a hand and to thank the volunteers for their much valued service.
In Pennrose, for example, committed volunteers repainted the inside of the Village of Arts and Humanities. The walls—tired from the countless art, film, and fashion classes it provides to the community—were revitalized by the bright blues, yellows, and reds that speak to the spirit of the institution.
At McPherson Square Library, community members volunteered along side of PhillyRising, the Managing Director’s Office, Philly311, and Philadelphia Police officers to pick-up trash, rake and bag leaves, and clean the playground.
At Furness High School, an event sponsored by PowerCorps, BuildUp, and PhillyRising, students and adults cleaned the grounds, made bird feeders and crafts, and scribed motivational signs to be hung throughout the school.
There was larger event at the MLK Rec Center that was attended by Mayor Nutter, City Council President Clarke, and Managing Director Rich Negrin. Although the center was packed with energetic volunteers from a wide range of ages, efforts such as painting “murals by numbers” solicited help from every hand.
In the words of Martin Luther King, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance…”
There is no question that every effort on Monday, no matter how small, had dignity and importance. Thank you to every volunteer who helped uplift our city.
Here are a few pictures from the day: