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Recap: How We Spent MLK Day of Service 2015!

Photo from Martin Luther King Day of Service, MLK Rec Center

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance joined forces with PECO, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and Philly Rising to host a service day at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center in North Philadelphia.

On Monday, January 19, more than 125,000 volunteers across the region honored the legacy of Dr. King with a day of giving back. To mark the day, the Cultural Alliance helped organize a service project for PECO employees and neighborhood residents to paint the North Philadelphia rec center. The paint day brought out more than 80 PECO volunteers of all ages, from grade schoolers to grandparents.

To kick off the day, new Cultural Alliance President, Maud Lyon was joined by Mayor Michael Nutter, Susan Slawson, First Deputy Commissioner of Recreation and Programs, Jane Golden, Executive Director and PECO President and CEO, Craig Adams.   After some stretching a quick coffee stop, the energized crowd took over the two-story building and made their way to six stations throughout the rec center.

Adult and teenage volunteers lent three hours of their time painting the hallways, gym, locker rooms, and cleaning and sprucing up the classrooms. They also showed off their artistic skills as they put finishing touches on two murals by Mural Arts artist, Willis Humphrey, who was on hand to work with the volunteers to make his vision reality.  

In addition to the many painting projects, younger volunteers were given the opportunity to create their very own Dream Flags. For those not familiar, Dream Flagsconnects students to their dreams and their dreams to the world. One of the volunteers’ Dream Flag stated,“In my dream the environment is treated with respect. People won’t be judged for they look, and children will have homes to live in and food to eat.” To see other dream flags and what students had to say click here.

As the day came to a close you could feel the sense of accomplishment buzzing through the building, and we were thrilled to be a part of it. MLK Day is more than just a day off work and we are in awe of how many people came out to give back during the monumental day. Still feeling inspired? Stay connected with GroundSwell as we share year-round volunteer opportunities for you and your community.