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Volunteers of All Ages Honor Dr. Martin Luther King With Remote Service Projects

Thanks to Our Amazing Volunteer Community for Supporting This Year’s Remote MLK Day of Service

The pandemic did nothing to dampen our loyal volunteers’ enthusiasm for serving those need.  Hundreds of volunteers picked up project kits, took them home to complete them, and returned them to be delivered to local nonprofits and their clients clients who needed a little winter cheer.

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE CHALET, THE WINNETKA COMMUNITY NURSERY SCHOOL, THE COMMUNITY HOUSE — AND OUR INCREDIBLE VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY — FOR THEIR GENEROUS SUPPORT.

If You’re Looking for At-Home Volunteer Projects: Ideas and Instructions

Materials:  Most of these projects use materials you can find in your home, or are not difficult to purchase. Feel free to be creative with any supplies you have. However, please do not use any glitter in your projects – they are dangerous inhalants for those in the hospital or those with breathing issues, and a MESS to clean up.

Completed Projects: We have provided some ideas of the kind of nonprofits who would LOVE to receive your thoughtful volunteer projects.   Please feel free to choose an organization you already support, or search our database to find a nonprofit that would be happy to receive your donations.  You’ll find our searchable database on our homepage.

 

NO-SEW BLANKETS For the homeless

Materials:

  • 4 yards of fleece — that’s it!

COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE: Download No-Sew Blanket Instructions Here

 

KINDNESS ROCKS dedicated to our very hardworking healthcare workers.

Materials:

  • Smooth, flat (river rocks) – any size – best are rocks a minimum of 3”. You can buy them at craft stores or online OR if you have any paintable small rocks at home.
  • Permanent Markers, paint markers or acrylic paint and brush.

Messages should relate to healthcare workers. When you are finished, find …

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More Ways for All Ages to Learn and Serve on MLK DAY

Additional Opportunities to Learn and Serve on MLK Day

Although we will not be hosting our MLK Day of Service in person this year, we would like to provide volunteers meaningful ways to honor the extraordinary legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We have some suggestions for individuals or families to engage in productive activities to help advance social justice in this unsettling year of racial strife. We are inviting volunteers to make the no-sew blankets that have been a part of our MLK Day of Service since we began in 2005. See below for project details and drop-off requirements.

Also listed on this page are additional educational and impactful service resources for people of all ages and interest levels.

 

No-Sew Blanket Project Details

I. Make your blanket(s) in your own home, then drop them off at the Community House either on MLK Day or the following Saturday. We will deliver them to local nonprofits that support at-risk and homeless communities.

II. Drop off your completed blanket(s) at the Community House on MLK Day, Monday, January 18th or January 23rd between 10am and 1pm only on both those days. The VC board members will be collecting the blankets at the Community House in Winnetka in the Pine Street Parking lot entrance with the large awning.

III. You may purchase your own four yards of fabric at a local fabric store, or buy one of the Volunteer Center’s limited supply of 36 blanket sets (includes four yards of fleece fabric) we have available for $20 each.

  • NOTE: If you are interested in buying one or more of our 36 blanket sets, email the Volunteer Center at info@volunteercenterhelps.org for information about how to reserve your blanket sets and when and where to pick them up. The blankets are on
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THE LEGACY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING LIVES ON, IN SPITE OF THE PANDEMIC

Although we couldn’t all be together in person for our 17th MLK Day, we were joined in spirit.  The variety of participants in the HEROS program and our annual no-sew blanket project provided perhaps a deeper impact than usual,  as those who participated felt the spirit of community combined with a shared goal of equity.

In partnership with HEROS (Healing Everyday Racism in the Schools), The Volunteer Center invited the community to participate in HEROS’ very enligtening MLK LEGACY Workshop that focused on Dr. King’s 1965 speech in Winnetka and the concrete steps we can take locally to create Dr. King’s “Beloved Community”. Over 200 people from the township and the surrounding North Shore area participated. It was very well received and provided additional ways to be active following the event. More details on this event, and ways you can work for social justice year-round, can be found here on the HEROS website.

 

MLK “WEEK” No-Sew Blanket Program

 
As service has always been a hallmark of MLK Day, the VC also invited volunteers from the community to participate in its signature DIY fleece blanket donation program for homeless shelters and refugees. Instead of working side by side, families made their blankets independently for MLK “Week”.  This year’s MLK Day remote DIY blanket program will provide over 50 blankets to Connections for the Homeless, The Night Ministry and Refugee One — with a special shout out to North Shore Country Day School for involving their parents. 

We were also touched to receive a blanket from the Chiaravalle Montesorri School in Evanston’s Pan African and Caribbean Affinity group (P.A.C.). by 1st and 2nd grade class members. The P.A.C. is a group dedicated to listening, highlighting, and empowering black and brown voices within our rich and growing community.

 

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Hundreds of Volunteers Turned Out to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy with a Community Day of Service

Want to Know More About Our MLK Jr. Day of Service?

Who
Volunteers of all ages and abilities looking to make a difference in our community — and have fun while doing it!

What   
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, an annual community service event to benefit local nonprofits, sponsored by The Volunteer Center, The Kindness Connection and the Winnetka Community House.

When
Monday, January 15, 2018 from 1pm-4pm.

Where 
Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka

Why 
In honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and in celebration of his message of tolerance, diversity and service, volunteers of all ages and abilities participated in service projects to benefit ten local nonprofits and the people in need that they serve. The afternoon also provided a forum for polite, public discussion of civil liberties and service to mankind.

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Questions?  Email info@volunteercenterhelps.org.  Or call The Volunteer Center at 847-441-7665

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Thanks to All of the Volunteers Who Helped Make a Difference at This Year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Want More Details?

Who:     Individuals, families, community and service groups of all ages and abilities on Chicago’s North Shore and surrounding communities

What:     Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, an annual community service event to benefit local nonprofits, sponsored by The Volunteer Center, The Kindness Connection and the Winnetka Community House

When:     Monday, January 16, 2017 from 1pm-4pm.  And coming again in January 2018!

Where:     Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka

Why:    It honored the legacy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and celebrates his message of tolerance, diversity and service by providing an opportunity for volunteers of all ages and abilities to participate in service projects to benefit over a dozen local nonprofits and the people in need that they serve.

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Questions?  Email info@volunteercenterhelps.org.  Or call The Volunteer Center at 847-441-7670

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Mark Your Calendar for VC 2022-23 Days of Service — and Watch for More Details to Come!

9-11 DAY OF SERVICE AND REMEMBRANCE

Sunday, September 11, 2022:  In honor of the heroes of 9-11, drop off PURCHASED baked goods (home baked not allowed), cards and games, personal notes, etc. to your local fire and police departments to thank them for their service.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY

Saturday, October 22, 2022:  Donate gently used and new goods to benefit over a dozen community nonprofits. 

THANKSGIVING MORNING “SHARE YOUR BOUNTY” EVENT

Thursday, November 24, 2022:  Donate food to families at the Good News Partners low-income and subsidized housing in Rogers Park.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY OF SERVICE

Monday, January 16, 2023:  Participate in many different service projects in support of multiple area nonprofits.

KIDS AGAINST HUNGER

February 25, 2023:  Bring your whole family or service group to pack nutritious meals for over 100,000 starving Nicaraguans.  

EARTH DAY

April, 2023 (Date and Location TBD): Join us for projects like weeding, planting, clearing natural habitats and generally cleaning up the environment in support of Earth Day.

PAPER SHREDDING EVENTS

Dates and Locations TBD:  Several times a year the VC and New Trier Township will sponsor what have become popular drive-through document shredding events.  These are free to the community.

PLUS…

2023 VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION CELEBRATION

Spring, 2023 (exact date to be determined):  Join the Volunteer Center at this lively event and help us pay tribute to outstanding volunteers who have made a significant difference in our community.  

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Thanks to all who participated in the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Well over 700 people came together to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s historic visit to the Winnetka Village Green — and participate in our annual Day of Service

Civil Rights on the North Shore: Bringing the Movement Home  Watch this video documentary about civil rights in the early sixties and the North Shore Summer Project’s efforts to bring an end to housing discrimination, and promote interracial relationships with children and young adults. It was the North Shore Summer Project that brought Dr. Martin Luther King to speak on the Winnetka Village Green in July, 1965. Click here to view the presentation.

 

Volunteers of all ages and abilities helped complete a variety of projects to benefit local nonprofits:

  • No-sew blankets for homeless individuals at The Night Ministry and Connections for the Homeless
  • Valentines for veterans and active military at Hines VA Hospital  and Lovell Federal Health Care
  • Activity books for hospitalized children at Evanston Hospital and La Rabida Children’s Hospital
  • Origami decorations for senior citizens at Mather Place and House of Welcome
  • Baseball cards for at-risk youth at Cards2Kids
  • Pet toys for rescued animals at Orphans of the Storm
  • Jewelry for women and children in safe housing at Luggage for Freedom and YMCA
  • Cards and hand-stamped stationary for Refugee One

MLK Co-Sponsors