Friday, January 15, 2010

MLK Day Celebration to Host Projects for Maine Soldiers

Want to spend a couple of hours making a difference on a national holiday? You can, on Monday Jan. 18th during York’s first Martin Luther King Day of Service celebration.
The MLK Day of Service Committee has just announced two afternoon projects that will reach out to Maine soldiers –those who have just returned from Afghanistan and those that are leaving for that part of the world later this month.
You can spend the afternoon baking and decorating cookies for Maine National Guard troops and their families or you can design and write thank you letters to the National Guard troops about to be deployed. The letters will be held and then sent to the soldiers once they are settled in Afghanistan.
“This is a way to tell them they are appreciated and not forgotten,” according to Zoe Keefer-Norris of Old York and the MLK Committee, who initiated these projects. “It will be a ‘day on, not a day off’ as part of a nationwide service program to honor Dr. King’s life and teachings,” she added.
The mass baking effort will begin at 1 p.m. in the Remick Barn on Lindsay Road, and the letter writing will be held at the York Library off of Long Sands Road at the same time.
More than 20 non-profit organizations are participating in the day’s events. Volunteers can choose whatever project most interests them – for the Maine soldiers, at the York Community Services Thrift Shop, York Hospital, or others.
Other non-profits will have informational booths during the morning program to be held at the York High School. They include the 4-H Club, Center for Wildlife, the York Schools’ Civil Rights Teams, ELKS Lodge, Think Again, Hospice of York, Caring Unlimited, the York Art Association and others.
The Day of Service begins at 9:30 a.m. at the York High School with a performance by seventh grade students led by musical artist Randy Armstrong and a performance by Jasmine Shah’s Indian Dance troupe. An inspiring keynote address will by given by Richard Haynes on his experience as an African-American artist. A Community Service Fair will showcase the area’s various non-profit organizations.
Both children and adults can then spend the afternoon on the specific service projects.
People and/or groups are encouraged to register by sending an email to or through Facebook (MLK Day of Service: York), or by calling 207.752.0843.