WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the nation prepares to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, NeighborWorks America is hard at work strengthening communities throughout the country. NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks organizations offer the localized, on-the-ground services that help to improve the lives of individuals and their families.
The following are examples of the work NeighborWorks organizations are doing to commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service:
- NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (Woonsocket, RI) has organized a community day of service to take place on January 19 in Woonsocket. NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Committee of Woonsocket are collaborating with community members to create murals dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message and the community's cultural diversity. The murals will be painted at the Woonsocket Police Station, Woonsocket High School and the YMCA in downtown Woonsocket. There will also be a neighborhood cleanup effort.
- South Bend Heritage Foundation (South Bend, IN) and the Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation of St. Joseph County have organized a community day of service on January 21 in South Bend. More than 50 partner organizations will attend the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Community Service Recognition Breakfast" where distinguished volunteers will receive community service awards. Later, the South Bend Medical Foundation will host an annual blood drive to increase awareness for the need of blood donations in the area. South Bend Heritage Foundation and a local veterans group will host a Veterans' Resource Room at the Century Center where veterans can access resources on medical and mental health, counseling, housing, education, and employment networking. Additionally, South Bend Heritage Foundation will provide workshops for youth (ages 13 and up) aimed to get them involved in the community.
- Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (Ventura, CA) will host a community dialogue on January 21. The organization's AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member Victor Espinosa will facilitate the discussion on the meaning of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words and actions. AmeriCorps VISTA members spend one year in full-time service to address the needs of low-income communities. The discussion will include topics such as race, equality and social justice in Ventura County. This event seeks to connect Dr. King's legacy to an ongoing social justice struggle, recover critical, yet less-examined facets of King's words, and connect them to current, local social justice movements.
- AmeriCorps VISTA member Robert Johnson from Neighborhood Housing Services of Richland County (Richland Center, WI) will provide the introduction to a free civil rights talk, highlighting information about the earned income tax credit, in Richland Center. University of Wisconsin Ph.D. candidate Simon Balto will give a lecture on contemporary racial issues.
"During the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, and throughout the year, NeighborWorks organizations are working to build vibrant communities," said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald. "We want to make sure all individuals and families have the tools and information they need to succeed, and that's why our local service projects are so critical."
About NeighborWorks America
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.
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CONTACT: Lindsay Moore firstname.lastname@example.org 202-220-6317
Source: NeighborWorks America