January 22, 2016
LEWISTON, Idaho - The 2016 MLK Day of Service was a major success. On January 18, 2016 nearly 150 people came out to support the 25th annual community service day. Volunteers helped at 11 local agencies whose goals range from caring for veterans and the elderly to cleaning the town and environment to providing clothes and meals to persons who are under-resourced.
Events started at the YWCA in downtown Lewiston before volunteers canvassed Lewiston and Clarkston for the afternoon. After serving, many people returned to the YWCA for a donated chili dinner and hot chocolate bar. The LHS Gold Voices entertained the crowd singing a mix of American and spiritual classics.
Guest speaker Malcolm Scott, MSW, Ph.D. helped by Jim Downey lead a candlelight vigil from the YWCA to the Center for Arts & History. Once at the Center, Scott educated and entertained the crowd with his fabulous voice and traditional marching songs. By the end of Scott’s presentation, the entire room was full of song, dance, laugher, and clapping. Scott thanked the LCSC community saying, "I really appreciated the warm welcome and positive energy felt during each of the gatherings. The commitment to students and passion for teaching was clearly evident, in addition to the desire for reconciliation and acknowledgement of differences."
At the post-service dinner Ryan Paulus, AmeriCorps VISTA with LCSC, thanked the crowd saying, “Let us take the energy from today and carry that throughout the year.” In all, the volunteers helped an estimated 7,250 people in the two hours of service. “The people in the LC Valley community should be very proud of what they did today,” Paulus said after the event.
One group in particular gave heed to the call for service. In two hours the LC Work Scholars, working at the Idaho Foodbank, helped pack 900 children’s school backpacks who might otherwise go without food. Additionally, the group helped reorganize 6,000 pounds of food, or 5,000 meals. Sophomore Work Scholar Kristen Gordon found the day to be meaningful. "I thought it was a lot of fun. It was really awesome how many backpacks we made in that little amount of time, and we helped a lot of children."
After the event, Kala Latimer, AmeriCorps VISTA with the Idaho Foodbank, echoed Gordon, “This is an incredible amount of work done, and we appreciate it so much!”
If you would like to take part in the MLK Day of Service next year contact Ryan Paulus at (208) 792-6087 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.