Mount Mercy hosts celebration ceremony for MLK Day of Service

Mount Mercy University will proudly host the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day opening ceremony on Monday, January 16 at 8:30 a.m. in Hennessey Recreation Center on Mount Mercy's campus. Community members are welcome to attend as the Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas kick off a community-wide day of service.

The opening ceremony will include guest speakers Mayor Ron Corbett and Mount Mercy President Christopher Blake, and showcase inspirational messages and music as MLK Day volunteers, students and community members come together and remember the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast will be provided for all volunteers, starting at 8:00 a.m. before the ceremony. After the ceremony, teams will spread out into the community for service projects.

A Day On, Not a Day Off

In 1986, the first National MLK Day of Service was observed in the United States, marking our nation's commitment to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy of service and outreach. MLK, Jr. Day is an opportunity for people to work together to strengthen communities, bridge barriers, address important issues, and do what they can to serve others.

The Cedar Rapids MLK Community Day of Service is a unique partnership between area non-profits and institutions of higher education that come together to provide Cedar Rapids residents with opportunities to serve individuals and organizations on Monday, January 16, 2012. Whether you can volunteer a full day or a few hours, we encourage you to view this day off as one more day toward a brighter, better Cedar Rapids.

How you can help

Come to the Kick-Off: The day will start with a kick-off at 8:30 a.m. on January 16 at Mount Mercy University's Hennessey Recreation Center. Volunteers and community members are invited to re-live the inspiring words of Dr. King and hear performances which will inspire their own day of service. Breakfast will be provided, starting at 8:00 a.m.

Volunteer: All service projects for the 2012 MLK Day of Service are listed at www.unitedwayofeastcentraliowa.org. To browse volunteer opportunities, click MLK Day of Service Projects. Register for the project of your choice and the volunteer coordinator will contact you to confirm project details.

Participate in the food drive: Hunger knows every season. Many food pantries in our area receive food donations before the winter holidays, but suffer with the post-holiday drop-off. Whether or not you are able to volunteer for the MLK Community Day of Service, we invite you to serve others in your community by participating in the MLK Day Food Drive. You may drop off non-perishable food items at Mount Mercy University's Chapel of Mercy (1330 Elmhurst Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids) or St. Wenceslaus Church's donation site (1224 5th St. SE) on January 16.

Live Dr. King's mission: Help carry the tradition forward by reflecting on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and living his words in your daily lives.

"Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The MLK Day of Service is a combined effort of several community agencies and organizations. The planning committee is made up of representatives from the following non-profits and higher education institutions: Coe College, Community Corrections Improvement Association (AmeriCorps VISTA), Mount Mercy University, Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, United Way of East Central Iowa. 

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