Chapters Commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service and Improve Disability Inclusion Across America

Many of our chapters spent the past two months executing service projects made possible by a grant from The Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that leads national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

Many perceive people with disabilities as the ones in need of service – but in reality, they are often a part of civic engagement at the state, local, and national level. Chapters executed great projects, including food drives and food delivery events. Check out our new Facebook album or each chapter’s Facebook page below for highlights and pictures from each event. Thank you for participating in this wonderful opportunity with us!

  • TARC: Our local chapter in Tulsa, Oklahoma, kicked off their MLK Day of Service at a University of Tulsa basketball game. Volunteers with developmental disabilities from TARC worked with university students to accept canned food donation and transport food to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. In February, volunteers from the chapter also packaged food at the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma; served meals at the Kendall Whittier Elementary School; and conducted a month-long food drive at the University of Tulsa and at the True Blue Neighbors office.
  • The Arc Big Bend: On February 15th, this Madison, Florida, chapter hosted a “free lunch” for 250 people who experience food insecurity at a local park. Volunteers with and without disabilities from the local Kiwanis club, Aktion Club, local health department, and nursing school hosted a variety of activities, including free health screenings, fire rescue demonstrations, and performances from a local boys choir.
  • The Arc of Greater Twin Cities: Our Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, chapter worked with Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank to deliver emergency food aid to at least 180 people in need. During the weekend before MLK Day, thrift stores operated by The Arc of Greater Twin Cities engaged volunteers to work at their thrift stores to collect canned food and sort clothing to be sold (the proceeds of which supported the work of The Arc of the Greater Twin Cities).
  • The Arc of the Glades: The Arc of The Glades in Belle Glade, Florida, began a joint adventure with The Church of The Harvest and Lighthouse Food Pantry to help provide food to those in need in our local community. As of February 10th, 40 volunteers with and without disabilities have given 385 hours of their time, served 2,468 meals, and distributed 5,686 bags of food to those in need.
  • The Arc of Luzerne County: Our chapter in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, partnered with the Wilkes Barre Kiwanis and Pittston Rotary Club to box food for over 150 low-income seniors at the Commission on Economic Opportunity,  a local community organization that serves people suffering from poverty on MLK Day. Since this initial event, volunteers with disabilities have been serving in the kitchen at the Commission on Economic Opportunity to help prepare 800-1000 lunches daily for low-income children in the area.
  • The Arc Nature Coast: Throughout February, volunteers with and without disabilities in Brooksville, Florida, delivered and distributed fresh fruits and veggies to nearly 300 families at four food banks in the community.
  • The Arc of the Midlands: Working with community partners, this South Carolina chapter fed close to 200 people at an event that included live music, a basketball scrimmage, and special guests including state representative Chip Huggins and Indianapolis Colts football player Kelcy Quarles.
  • The Arc of Virginia: On February 19th, volunteers and chapter staff assembled 230 meals for distribution to people in Richmond who experience food insecurity. This effort was supported by Virginia Delegate Kaye Kory, members of the Virginia General Assembly, and assembly staff.
  • The Arc of Walton County: The Arc of Walton County partnered with their local Anchor Club and The Matrix Community Outreach Center to provide food to those in need in northwest Florida.
  • Genesee Arc: This New York chapter supported volunteers with and without disabilities to conduct food drives throughout the month at twelve different community locations. The food collected was donated to 200 children in need at the United Way of Genesee County’s Backpack Program, which provides food to school-age children who experience food insecurity on the weekends.

One thought on “Chapters Commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service and Improve Disability Inclusion Across America

  1. In the grand scheme of issues, ours is not so great. but it may have negative effect on my 42 yr old ID/DD son. His disability is not as profound and visible as most, but it exists nevertheless.

    He is functional and works part time. He drives and enjoys line dancing. Four years ago he was harassed at a country bar a chain. ( I realize this may not be the forum for this but i don’t know where to go.)
    He was in the men’s room checking out some stitches he’d received due to mole removals earlier that day. He was not in a stall/; A group of guys and a woman came rushing in. ONe asked is he mas—-ing? He quickly tried to retreat to a stall but was blocked while someone pulled out a phone and took pictures. where they are today we have no idea. However, this incident which was humiliating enough has come to haunt him. A few years later he was told to remove a vest with the bar’s logo that he designed and had permission to use the logo. He thught the were joking. they were not and physically escorted him out of the facility (they said he didn’t comply with their time limit of a 30 seconds. He was frustrated. We reported the bar to the better business bureau. They responded and the bar told them Dave had been involved in a previous incident.(the aforementioned) My son made the decision to steer clear of the place and another couple of yrs have passed. Every so often one of those from that bar appears at other places and taunts him. It is infrequent but he is disturbed and depressed by it. The story has come round that he was caught red handed taking pictures in the ladies room. He dared to go bakj since many of his friends are there;
    sunday evenings the past few months all has been well and he enjoys the friendship and dancing. On a Wed he went there beccause the place he usually attends was closed. He met friends and enjoyed the evening. Most of his friends had left. A bouncer approached him and said I thought you were banned for life . When he asked why they responded because he was wierd. He said he’d had seizures in the past. they replied they did not care. He said you can;t do this. They said this is private property we can do anything we want. He went back in for his coat planning to leave when an instructor approached him and said he haid strikes against him. When he questioned her, she said she was told he was swinging his d—around. What hit him hardest is that she said this out loud in front of people who were still there. What if anything can be done to derail the harassment. At a group session at behavioral science group he was asked the lowest point in his life. He described the aforementioned situation and the counselor asked if he pressed charges? Is there violation of his rights? I asks because he is so down and feels he should do something.

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