YMCA: Rallying around community service on King Day

Staff Report

As we look to 2015 and the challenges our communities face, it is important to consider how community service can help us feel more connected to our neighbors and our neighborhoods.

Jan. 19, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the YMCA of Rock River Valley encourages residents to honor Dr. King’s legacy by not only giving back and supporting our neighbors, but by reflecting on how each act of community service is a small part of a larger movement to make things better.

At Ys across the nation, more than 600,000 volunteers provide crucial support that strengthens our communities. From serving on our board of directors to tutoring students in an after-school program (and everything in between), the Y depends on the service of others to make an impact in our neighborhoods. Here in the Rock River Valley, the YMCA relies on the help of volunteers to accomplish its mission and provide a welcoming place for everyone to learn, grow and thrive.

Those looking to strengthen the community are encouraged to participate in the Y’s “Blessing Bags” donation project.

The Community Outreach YMCA, one of the YMCA of Rock River Valley’s six area locations, is coordinating “Blessing Bags” by collecting personal hygiene items, water bottles, small snacks, and first aid items to put together for homeless citizens of Rockford.

The collection will go through the end of this week, and on Monday, Jan. 19, volunteers will be putting all the bags together at Zion Lutheran Church. The bags will be distributed to various churches throughout the Midtown neighborhood and, if enough are collected, the Rockford Rescue Mission.

Not only are volunteers important to the Y, but they are important to improving the community as a whole.

Regardless of whether you give your time to the Y, your local place of worship or another charity, or organize an activity with your friends and neighbors, getting and staying involved in community service is what is important.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is the perfect time to get into a community service frame of mind.

If you would like to donate, volunteer or learn more about the Blessing Bags donation project, contact Tabatha Endres-Cruz, executive director, Community Outreach YMCA at (779)774-4428 or tendrescruz@rockriverymca.org.

Posted Jan. 14, 2015

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