MLK Day in January is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service, encouraging all Americans to get out and volunteer. This “Day On” gives everyone across our country the opportunity to step up and take action to create the “Beloved Community” of Dr. King’s dream. AmeriCorps service members have led the national charge for this day of services for the past quarter century; and this year, Norwescap’s Americorps team organized a partnership with Project KIND in Rockaway to bring help and kindness to over 100 homeless neighbors.
Over a dozen AmeriCorps members, Norwescap staff, and their family members convened at Project KIND’s headquarters for MLK Service Day, organizing and packing up more than 100 outreach kits filled with food items and toiletries donated by Norwescap’s Food Bank. Norwescap also donated hand warmers and sleeping bags to the effort. The kits and donated items were then distributed to people experiencing homelessness in Morris and Essex Counties by Project KIND’s staff and volunteers, as part of their homeless outreach program.
The AmeriCorps members chose Project KIND as a partner because the two non-profits have a mutual goal of assisting individuals and families facing poverty in New Jersey. Yolanda Marrero, an AmeriCorps member in her second year of service with Norwescap, took the lead on selecting and coordinating the MLK service project. She said, “This project is important to me because the work of Project KIND, like Norwescap’s work, is really about kindness, love, and compassion. Anyone can become homeless. All people need is a helping hand or act of kindness to give them hope.”