2018 MLK Jr. Day of Service

On Monday, January 15th, MMP and the Highland Street AmeriCorps Ambassadors of Mentoring partnered with Many Helping Hands 365 to serve the community of Cambridge. Ambassador of Mentoring at MMP's Western Mass office, Terrance Smith, captured highlights of the day. 

By Terrance Smith, Highland Street AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring 

A gentle snow shower came over Cambridge on Monday Morning of Many Hands 365’s and the Cambridge Community Foundation’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, a call to address the needs of the city’s most marginalized individuals, and to honor Dr. King’s legacy of service for racial and economic equality.

“He was fighting for civil rights,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren on the front steps of Cambridge City Hall, as part of a service kickoff event that afternoon. “He was fighting for economic justice, he was fighting for America.”

Volunteers made scarves and blankets for the homeless, put together bags of groceries for food pantries, made care kits for children in the emergency rooms of hospitals, and designed valentines for residents of nursing homes (Cambridge.gov). Contributing to the day’s activities were staff of the Mass Mentoring Partnership, a nonprofit that provides capacity building services for youth serving nonprofits and private organizations throughout Massachusetts. Also on hand were the Highland Street Ambassadors of Mentoring, an AmeriCorps division supervised by the Mass Mentor Partnership and formed in collaboration with the Highland Street Foundation and the Mass Service Alliance.

“It’s been such a fun year,” said Ahna Keilar, an AmeriCorps member carrying out her host site duties at Boston Partners. “I love my nonprofit.”

Ambassadors of Mentoring and Mass Mentors staff assisted in setup for the day’s activities, as well as provided support to participants in their projects. At the afternoon kickoff event, Mayor Marc McGovern of Cambridge challenged listeners on site to take their service to those who need it beyond Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “It is not enough to say, ‘I support the homeless, ‘but.’ We must say ‘I support the homeless ‘and.’ For that ‘but’ softens our commitment.”

“He did not say,

‘We can overcome,'

he said, ‘We shall overcome.'’’ 

Senator Elizabeth Warren honoring Dr. King’s legacy