Chattanooga’s Department of Equity and Community Engagement will hold the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Monday, Jan. 17, in partnership with the University of Tennessee, River City Company, the NAACP, Scenic Cities Beautiful, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and the Unity Group of Chattanooga.
City Hall will serve as a collection point for donations to benefit organizations located in the ML King Boulevard and 11th Street area. Residents can either walk up or drive up to drop off their donations from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Beneficiaries will be Whiteside Faith Manor, Arts Build, The Community Kitchen, the Maclellan Shelter for Families and Patten Towers residents.
Items needed for donations include new or gently-used clothing, non-perishable food items, art supplies and personal hygiene products such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap and disposable masks.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city will not host any larger scale, in-person service projects for the MLK Day of Service in 2022. However, the city encourages individuals, small groups and families to organize their own service projects within their neighborhoods and then share that activity online by using the hashtag #MLKChatt2022.
Honoring 2022’s theme of “The Beloved Community… It Starts With Me,” the city will host a short program to kick-off the donation drive featuring welcome remarks from Mayor Tim Kelly, music by The Littleton Mason Singers, a spoken-word performance by Jayden Coleman and reflections on service from the Mayor’s Youth Council.
The NAACP will also be in attendance to conduct voter registration and a membership drive.
The annual MLK Day of Service was launched in 2014 at the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy as a “day on, not a day off,” when Chattanoogans were encouraged to come together and work on community-oriented service projects.
Past projects have included a cleanup at Beck Knob Cemetery, painting and cleaning of local child care centers, neighborhood beautification, litter pickups and more.
The donation drive is a rain-or-shine event and will be live-streamed via the Department of Equity and Community Engagement’s Facebook page.
Source: City of Chattanooga