Folks across the country will be serving their communities this weekend in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For Maine volunteer Diane, who is organizing a food drive in her area, pitching in this weekend is an important part of giving back to her community.
“Poverty is so often hidden, and to think that one in four children in Maine are food insecure, it’s really hard to hear—I tear up thinking about it,” Diane explains. “And if children don’t have adequate nutrition they won’t be able to benefit from their education, and it just spirals. After the holidays, our local food pantries are really low on supplies, and this will help them get through the winter.”
Diane started her annual canned goods drive with volunteers she met in 2008—and it just keeps growing.
“It began four years ago when President Obama made a call to service, asking us to step up. I had the pleasure of working with a volunteer named Mary on Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign—we went down to Pennsylvania together—and she had the idea of this food drive focusing on another part of our county. So I said I would do it on our end, and I set it up out of my house! It was quite a successful drive—I was really pleased.
“This year, our library is set up and ready to receive donations. I made a large quilt that we put on display right at the checkout desk to help feature the drive. There seems to be a lot of excitement this year, so I’m optimistic.
“It’s really important that the MLK holiday be more than just a day off. We live in a small town, but we know that what we do here makes a real difference.”
Get out there this weekend—find an MLK service event near you.