Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is recognized as a day of service. MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” There are many ways you can participate in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. MLK Day of Service is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.” You can join a project already planned in your community; you can develop your own project with family, friends, and neighbors; or if you work for an organization that mobilizes volunteers.
Several communities and organizations across the country look to MLK Day of Service to put time and energy towards work needed for Safe Routes to School. One such group is the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program (AMUS). This year, AMUS is looking forward to working in the Fitzgerald neighborhood of Detroit, to support and promote Safe Routes to School for Bethune Elementary-Middle School! The AmeriCorps volunteers have been working for months to find individuals interested in starting a block club, canvassing over 50 blocks, finally bringing together a group of like-minded individuals that are more than enthusiastic to eventually be a part of a radio patrol that will cover the routes to and from Bethune.
For MLK Day, AMUS hopes to add another layer of crime deterrence to the area be boarding up and securing almost 30 vacant and open homes within a 6 block radius of the school. Along with that, we have around 50 volunteers from Northwestern University, and expecting around 100 volunteers from the neighborhood and surrounding colleges/universities to participate in a clean-up around the school. Check out their flyer for details about the event.
AMUS will be working with students from the elementary/middle schools in 12th precinct to paint “no dumping” signs, and paint murals on the boards that will be boarded on the homes so students can see their work presented on their way to school. With the collaboration with Bethune, as well as the up and coming block club, AMUS hopes that the difference made on MLK Day will be ongoing!
Will your community come together on MLK Day to make it safer for students to walk and bike to school?