Volunteers throughout the state honored the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday by serving in their communities both in-person and virtually. While many organizations hosted events organizing donations and beautifying spaces, others held virtual educational events or had volunteers make/collect items from home. Even a fierce snowstorm didn't deter organizations from serving with many projects simply postponed to later in the month. The Virginia Service Foundation was honored to award 11 organizations with MLK Day of Service Mini Grants to support their efforts. The following are a few of the projects receiving Mini Grants this year:
Fairfax County - Volunteer Fairfax hosted a four-day event that included Community Conversation, a Valentine’s Challenge featuring 875 volunteers creating cards for Title 1 public school teachers and staff (photos), 740 individuals downloading a special volunteer guidebook, and food drive collecting more than 1,200 pounds of items! Kids Give Back held an event for 24 elementary students who filled 50 gift bags for INOVA Health staff members.
Danville - Institute for Advanced Learning & Research - Dan River Year AmeriCorps is currently conducting a supply drive to benefit foster families. Donations of clothes, cuddle items, art supplies, sports equipment, hygiene products, and toys are being accepted through Feb. 20th! More.
Norfolk - Norfolk Botanical Gardens hosted an event at which volunteers worked to remove invasive weeds in a large section of land on the property.
Williamsburg - Friends of York River State Park worked to restore the park's pollinator garden in an effort to keep the tiger swallowtail butterflies returning to the garden.
Loudoun County - Nest4Us hosted a team of volunteers who assembled more than 500 grocery bags filled with rice, dry beans, mac and cheese, spaghetti, canned vegetables/soup, cereal, brownie/cake mix, and a note of encouragement.
Alexandria - United Way Worldwide hosted an in-person volunteer project assembling Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Literacy Kits, benefiting youth in the DC Metro Area. Each kit included the book "Same, Same But Different," a matching game, pen pal activity, school supplies, and a note of encouragement all packed in a box decorated by volunteers.