Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Life’s most urgent and persistent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” On January 21, 2013 millions of Americans will answer that question by coming out together to improve the conditions of their communities.
In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national day of volunteer service. Instead of a day off from work or school, Congress asked all Americans to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy by turning community concerns into citizen action.
In Portland-Human Rights Campaign, SMYRC and the Q-Center have partnered up to bring you two ways to create positive change for our community. As you may know, “LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented among homeless youth, and may make up as much as fifty percent of the total homeless youth populations in Portland and Seattle on any given night,” says Kris Hermanns, Executive Director of Pride Foundation.
Here’s how you can help:
1. DONATE CARE ITEMS
HRC, SMYRC, and Q Center are collecting the following items to create care bags for LGBT homeless youth.
Unopened travel-sized toiletries including soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes, toothpaste, moisturizer, lip balm, deodorant, handwipes, tissues, disposable razors, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, brushes, and combs.
Small but essential winter accessories such as beanies, gloves, scarves, etc. (No bulky items such as jackets or coats.)
First-aid supplies such as band-aids, sanitizing wipes or gel, and cough drops
New and unused reusable water bottles.
Please consider donating any quantity of these items and dropping them off at the following location:
4115 N. Mississippi Ave.
Portland, OR 97217.
Monday through Friday | 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday | 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
On Monday, January 21, they will need volunteers to assemble care bags for LGBTQ homeless youth. Volunteer training, orientation, food, and beverages will be provided.
Monday, January 21
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM
4115 N. Mississippi Ave.
Portland, OR 97217
To pledge to donate items or sign up to volunteer, please visit www.hrc.org/mlkportland.
For more information about MLK Day of Service, please visit www.hrc.org/mlkdayofservice
In Eugene please join the Lane County Chapter of the NAACP, Actor Danny Glover, Singer/Producer Ray J, and Quinton Aaron, star of the Blindside as they kick off the day of service at Autzen Stadium at 11am. Event organizers say the march is a “celebration of the values and ideals that Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for. It’s a reminder of how far we have come together, and how far we still have to go.”
The University of Oregon service group, Duck Corps, along with Willamette Pride from Willamette High School will work to improve the conditions Willamette High School The project will be from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM on January 21 after the march.
Whatever you decide to do, remember this is your opportunity to make it a day on!
Jett is Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Oregon. Email Jett.