|AmeriCorps Member Emma Gifford and VISTA Member |
Jennifer Gosnell welcoming volunteers.
|Volunteers registering for their service projects|
In the spirit of fulfilling that mission, we are honored to support and organize the MLK Day of Service holiday as part of creating healthy and just communities. In 1983, Congress created a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a nationally recognized holiday. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a National Day of Service. The MLK Day of Service is a way to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and teachings by dedicating yourself to community action that helps solve social problems.
This is our fifth year planning this event and each year it continues to grow and build upon itself! Much of this events success is directly related to the wonderful event organizers we have had in the past and continue to have serving in our community. This year, thanks to the efforts of our wonderful event planner and VISTA Leader Erika Stone, this project is for the second year in a row officially county wide.
As we gather here today, more Yavapai County residents are gathered in Beaver Creek/ RimRock Lake Montezuma. They are engaged in a variety of projects including assisting homebound community members and protecting Montezuma’s Well the National Monument by doing clearing and restoration work. More Yavapai County residents are gathered writing letter to our troops and working with youth in juvenile probation and detention to connect these youth to the importance of giving and the importance of being needed by your community.
Our county is active today!!! There can be no doubt that Yavapai County did not take a day off today and instead, we are ON!
Our county wide efforts are a piece of a statewide effort with projects organized and mobilized across the state—in Tucson and Phoenix on tribal lands and in small towns like ours. Our state joins a nationwide effort on this day with over 3,500 projects organized across the country each project like ours brining people together from all parts of our community and all walks of life to work to make our communities stronger, healthier, and better able to meet the needs of those among us that are the most vulnerable.
|VISTA Member Yanina Rivera helping out |
at the Granite Peak Neighborhood Project
At a time when the world feels sometimes dangerously divided, we here do something truly radical and at the same time so beautifully natural. We unite, not despite our differences, but in recognition of our differences - in recognition of our differences, and in support of our community. We unite with each other, and we protect our space together, by clarifying our joint purpose, by apologizing when feelings get hurt and by accepting that this union is a precious one. But we still unite, knowing that what divides us is so small, so insignificant, compared to the ocean of need that demands our united action.
We are wise enough to know that a hungry child cares nothing for politics but cares desperately about the well of our compassion. That our creeks care not whose hand removes the trash that prevents its’ flow and that our nonprofit organizations will take all the help they can get responding the shocking increase in demand for their services.
We know what today is about and we know what it will take to build the beloved community. It will take unity and compassion and the release of all things not as important as the challenges we stand here today to meet.
When we refuse to focus on what divides us and instead stay true to unity and to the calling of serving those in need, we honor Dr. King with fierce loyalty to his legacy.
Our strongest hope is that today becomes a form of active reflection and dedication for each of us — when we focus with our hearts and with our deeds on repairing the divisions, erasing those invisible lines that set us apart from each other. And if you haven’t already, make today the first day of a year long and a lifelong commitment to the service of others.