This year, 2016, was the first year I participated and coordinated community service on MLK Jr. Day instead of loafing around. As my supervisor Lindsay said, a "day on" rather than a "day off".
Hudson River Housing provided many volunteer opportunities available for people to sign up and the Americorps VISTAs (Anthony, Hilary, Dylan & myself) were pretty much charged with running the events for the day.
Hilary ran the Webster House Shelter Cleaning; volunteers assisted in cleaning Webster House Shelter, the only emergency homeless shelter in Dutchess County.
Anthony and I worked in the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory cleaning inside and outside the building and taking down the holiday lights. We had SO much help from a awesome group of Poughkeepsie High School students - they were great sports about being in an unheated building all morning!
Dylan organized the Main Street Surveying where volunteers collected surveys from residents and businesses along Main Street about the litter problem on Main Street.
Around supper time I headed over to Hudson River Lodging over on Manchester Road to assist kitchen staff to prepare and serve dinner to the residents. We were lucky to have Congressman Chris Gibson come this opportunity as well as a fantastic group of local residents who were looking to serve on MLK Jr. Day.
There was also a Volunteer Open House at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center in the afternoon where people could go to learn about local volunteer opportunities (Hilary and I baked cakes and cookies for this event - we did our best).
And finally to wrap up the busy day, that night was the Black History Month: Poughkeepsie Elder Stories Exhibition Opening at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center. We learned about the rich and vibrant history of Poughkeepsie through stories collected from local seniors by volunteers. ** It's still up if anyone hasn't checked it out yet! **
Needless to say, there were so many great things that happened on 1/18/16, and more than likely I would not have done anything on MLK Jr. Day if I wasn't here, as an Americorps VISTA, at Hudson River Housing, in Poughkeepsie NY, making a difference. #Poughtential