Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It Was a Day On


Dr. Martin Luther King said Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' During this weekend honoring Dr. King, I set about to document the many ways this question was being answered.

My Martin Luther King Jr. weekend got off to a great start on Friday evening at Kawana elementary school, where the after school program students sang, danced and spoke their understanding of the values of Dr. King.

Each after school class did a wonderful MLK themed performance.
This young student gave a speech about the need for a safer and more loving environment at school.  It was very moving....
he then entered into the welcoming embrace of Dad, who was so proud!

On Monday, I visited four projects organized by Jerry Noviello and the CalSERVES team to improve services for foster and homeless youth.

First, I visited Catholic Charities, Family Support Center which is a comprehensive shelter program for homeless families where AmeriCorps members cooked and served brunch.  These AmeriCorps members decorated the room with student artwork which delighted the crowd.

A very busy kitchen...breakfast burritos anyone?
Ready to serve!
Ready to eat!
Student artwork from R.L. Stevens decorates the dining room.

Next I went to the V.O.I.C.E.S. where they were moving the entire office down the street!  V.O.I.C.E.S. provides a supportive, safe, and non-judgmental community where youth transitioning from all systems of care can utilize peer-based resources, feel connected, and build a foundation for their futures.

Taylor & Lauren having some fun!
The leaders of V.O.I.C.E.S, Diana and Jessica were so excited to have the help.
Our wonderful Home Depot volunteers building planter boxes.

Lots of furniture to move!
On to the Living Room, a daytime drop-in center in Sonoma County that specifically serves homeless and at-risk women and their children, where AmeriCorps members spread out throughout the facility cleaning and painting.

Organizing the book shelves

Making way for more yard waste
Cleaning outdoor furniture and toys
Painting, painting, and more painting

Now off to TLC a non-profit in Sebastopol where they were painting and beautifying this facility that serves over 600 children who have been abandoned, neglected, abused or who are apart of a growing population of children facing mental health challenges.

Home Depot volunteers were painting masters!
Emily Mann leads the charge on a quilting project.

Kitchen walls get a coat of paint...
and murals are created to brighten the walls.

All together, over 100 CalSERVES AmeriCorps members and volunteers provided 400+ hours of service to four organizations, which provide essential services to the same children and families we serve every day.  Thank you AmeriCorps members and our service partners for all you do...

You have all answered Dr. King's most persistent and urgent question.