Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On January 14, 2017, hundreds of volunteers joined United Way for Greater Austin at our annual MLK Day of Service! This event is our way of celebrating the national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday by empowering individuals, strengthening communities, and working together to create solutions that bring us closer to realizing Dr. King’s vision. UWATX partnered with Keep Austin Beautiful to organize a cleanup of MLK Blvd from I-35 to US 183. By coming together from throughout the community to beautify this area, volunteers were able to make this great neighborhood cleaner and safer for everyone to enjoy! Volunteers were welcomed by our guest speaker, Principal Moore, of nearby Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary; then they got to work collecting trash and items to be recycled along a four mile stretch of MLK Blvd in East Austin. We were very thankful to see volunteers from local Americorps programs, churches, families, and companies!
During the cleanup event, UWATX partnered with local non-profits, including the Central Texas Food Bank and Creative Action, to provide volunteer opportunities in various locations throughout the Greater Austin community to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteers sorted and organized donations, worked in community gardens, and prepared educational supplies throughout Austin. UWATX partnered with Little Helping Hands to host a family-friendly volunteer fair where children and parents worked together to spread the love of volunteerism by completing projects that benefited Austin’s homeless population, local animal shelters, and more.
Outreach staff for some of UWATX’s key program areas were on hand to share information with volunteers about the over 30,000 community resources that can be accessed by calling our 2-1-1 resource center, or by using the 2-1-1 app on their smartphone. The MLK Day of Service was a great start to a weekend full of events celebrating the community activism and service of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Every day in Austin, we’re working to ensure each child has access to high-quality education, every family has the tools they need to be financially stable, and health and human services are readily available for all.