On January 15, 2018, the United Way hosted a day on instead of a day off. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, your United Way wanted to provide an opportunity for the community to serve others. In the words of Dr. King, “Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve”. Dr. King believed that many social ills could be defeated through citizen service. Recognizing that 1 in 5 Genesee County families deal with hunger, the United Way set out to combat this social ill by engaging neighbors to help neighbors.
With a goal of recruiting 215 volunteers to package 40,000 meals, recruitment began mid-December. The response from the community was astonishing! The goal of 215 volunteers was reached in less than a week with people still asking to participate. The need was so great that 375 volunteers showed up and provided more than 80,000 meals for the community.
At the end of the day, boxes lined the event center full of rice/bean and oatmeal meals. Each meal had enough protein and vitamins for a family of six for a full day. All the meals were distributed to local food pantries here in Genesee County with a focus on those who had volunteers present. The list of pantries receiving meals included: Prince of Peace Missionary, Franklin Avenue Mission, Greater Holy Temple, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Faithway Christian School, Northwestern High School, Bentley Community Schools, FISH of Grand Blanc, Brownell Holmes, and Davison Community Schools. All together those 10 organizations received 46,400 meals with the remaining 33,600 going to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
With groups that consisted of families, church members, school districts, AmeriCorps members and individuals of all ages, we all were able to celebrate the legacy of Dr King. “This is all about doing something good. We’re more alike than different. When we all get together and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, we really can make a difference in our community,” said Jamie Gaskin, United Way CEO.
From the bottom of our hearts, the United Way thanks the 375 volunteers that showed up to the Dort Event Center and packed 80,000 meals to help those facing food insecurities in Genesee County! Together we fight, together we WIN!