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South Williamsport, PA
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Dr. Martin Luther King Dream Week – Day of Service Slated For Monday, January 20

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived a life dedicated to service to others and calling attention to and helping to fight injustice. The theme of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Week, Day of Service that will take place is the “Strength To Love.” On Monday, January 20, 2020 STEP AmeriCorps will once again join

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived a life dedicated to service to others and calling attention to and helping to fight injustice. The theme of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Week, Day of Service that will take place is the “Strength To Love.”

On Monday, January 20, 2020 STEP AmeriCorps will once again join in partnership with Lycoming College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, the Beloved Community Council, and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank for a Pack and Share event in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for Williamsport’s annual MLK Day of Service.

According to local organizers of the event, the MLK Day of Service is part of Dream Week 2020. It is the largest day of service for AmeriCorps programs across the nation. Here in Williamsport, STEP AmeriCorps has the privilege of collaborating with the above organizations to pack 2,225 healthy meals for individuals and families in need. Thanks to the Central PA Food Bank and their sponsors; St. Luke Lutheran Church, First Community Foundation Partnership’s Pearls with a Passion Fund, and Panda Patriot; numerous families and individuals directly in our community of Williamsport and beyond will be given meal kits that not only provide necessary nutrition but also teach families and individuals how to cook the meals via slow-cooker or stovetop by way of a recipe included in the kits.

2019’s MLK Day of Service was the first year this partnership launched a Pack and Share event of this size, with more than 200 volunteers participating and packing 1,000 meals. This year, organizers believe the effort is going to be bigger and better, packing over 2,000 meals and hoping for 300 volunteers. They already have 100 signed up. Each volunteer will be placed at one of many stations to pack these meals from start to finish. This includes everything from putting the box together, gathering the ingredients needed for each meal kit, developing an assembly line, and placing the finished kits on pallets that will go back to the Central PA Food Bank for distribution. Volunteers will even be able to sign up to help distribute these boxes throughout the week and month to the Central PA Food Bank’s different locations in order to see a full picture of the impact they have made through the Pack and Share event on MLK Day.

Last year volunteers packed one healthy meal kit for each family; this year, they will be packing three different meals. These meals are Chicken Corn Chowder Soup, Tuna Noodle Casserole, and Spanish Rice.

The Food Bank, along with Lycoming student volunteers and STEP AmeriCorps members, will be making samples of these meals so that all volunteers can taste them on MLK Day of Service.

Organizers say they are so excited to join with our community to serve those in need in honor of the beloved Martin Luther King. Food insecurity is a heavy issue in our community, and through events like this, participants get to combat this insecurity and fight for no one to go hungry. They welcome any and all volunteers. The MLK Day of Service is kid-friendly. We will also be packing backpacks for the Backpack Programs that get distributed to students in need in the Williamsport Area School District.

The Dream Week 2020 theme is “The Strength to Love,” based on a collection of sermons written by Dr. King. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of peace and unity, let’s aim to find it within ourselves “the strength to love” our neighbors and community at large during times of adversity as they seek to celebrate our differences and unite in our commonalities to create a beloved community. Organizers hope to see you out on Monday, January 20, 2020.

There are several other Dream Week events scheduled as well; on January 19, beginning at 10 a.m., there will be a Peace Walk, which will start at the Penn College Academic Center. At 10:45 a.m. at the Academic Center Auditorium, there will be a Musical Celebration and Speaker. On Sunday, January 19, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Christ Episcopal Church, there will be an Alternative to Violence Mini-Workshop presented by Tony White. On January 22, the film “Harriet,” a film about Harriet Tubman, will be shown at the new Lycoming College Krapf Gateway Center’s Troegner Presentation Room. Seating is first-come, first-served, and finally, on January 23, Mike Africa, Jr. will be speaking at the Penn College Klump Academic Center Auditorium at 7 p.m. on the topic, “Don’t’ Give Up.”

The MLK Dream Week events are sponsored and promoted by STEP, Inc., AmeriCorps, the Beloved Community Council, the Pennsylvania College of Technology, and Lycoming College.

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