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2015 MLK Day of Service Recap

January 23, 2015

Since 1994, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been celebrated annually as a National Day of Service. In the spirit of “big impact,” United Way of Northeast Florida, in partnership with Wells Fargo, HandsOn Jacksonville, and Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC), brought action to Dr. King’s message of service in some of Jacksonville’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

With the support of over 500 enthusiastic volunteers ready to celebrate “a day on, not a day off,” United Way and its partners facilitated 22 projects throughout Northwest Jacksonville, East Jacksonville, Springfield, and New Town.

Left to right: Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, United Way of Northeast Florida President & CEO Michelle Braun, HandsOn Jacksonville President & CEO Judy Smith, and Wells Fargo Area Regional President Damien Haitsuka
Left to right: Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, United Way of Northeast Florida President & CEO Michelle Braun, HandsOn Jacksonville President & CEO Dr. Judy Smith, and Wells Fargo Area Regional President Damien Haitsuka

Before spreading out to serve local neighborhoods, hundreds of volunteers gathered at the Adams-Jenkins Community Sports & Music Complex at Edward Waters College to celebrate Dr. King’s call to serve one another. Attendees of the event included Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown,  Edward Waters College President Nathaniel “Nat” Glover, and Wells Fargo Florida President, Scott Coble.

“As we commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Mayor Brown, “there can hardly be a better way to honor his memory than to carry forward his mission by joining together to participate in this special day of service.”

United Way President and CEO Michelle Braun reminded the audience why a National Day of Service is critical to our city: “Dr. King said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ You are all proving that point today.”

Check out the Facebook album to get a recap of the outstanding work volunteers accomplished!

Wells Fargo team members helped beautify the campus of The Bridge of Jacksonville.
Wells Fargo team members helped beautify the campus of The Bridge of Jacksonville.

Projects included landscaping, gardening and renovating at several schools, parks, community gardens, homes, and neighborhood facilities. Volunteers also participated in canvassing efforts to distribute door hangers and inform residents about the services of RealSense, a United Way initiative that provides free tax preparation, financial planning and counseling to individuals and families to improve financial stability.

Through the commitment and partnership of local nonprofits, businesses, and volunteers, Dr. King’s legacy of service was evident as families, colleagues and community leaders came together to do good work and make a positive, lasting impact on our community.

Summary of Impact:

  • Total Volunteers: 567
  • Total Projects: 22
  • Total Hours: 2,268
  • Value of Volunteer Time: $51,143