READING, PA – On the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (Monday January 15th 2018) from 10-2 pm, the Olivet Boys & Girls Club locations in Reading will be honoring Dr. King’s legacy by completing an organization-wide service project. AmeriCorps members (high school and college students that complete 450 hours of community service with the organization), Olivet Boys & Girls Club kids, staff, and community volunteers will be assembling care packages for chemotherapy and dialysis patients in Berks County. Once the 300 packages are assembled, they will be distributed to local hospitals including Reading Hospital and St. Joseph’s Medical Center. The packages will include items such as bottled water, lip balm, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, and socks which are recommended to prevent/alleviate side effects of disease treatment.
The organization feels as though this is an important project for the community due to the prevalence of cancer and kidney disease in Berks County and across the state. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health there will be an estimated 2,372 new cancer diagnoses in Berks County in 2017. Furthermore, statistics from a Berks County Community Health Needs Assessment show that 14% of all deaths in 2012 were attributed to kidney disease.
In addition to honoring Dr. King’s legacy through service, youth will also participate in various educational and interactive activities to learn about Dr. King’s life, his vision for a beloved community, and discuss the topic of discrimination. Our teen members will be invited to participate in special programming focused on the theme of “United We Stand” at our Clinton Club location from 11-2 pm. Teens will participate in an open forum discussion about race and discrimination as well as complete a community service project focused on the local homeless population.
Sponsors and donors for this important day of service include the following companies and organizations: BCAP, Giant, Costco, Pompeii Street Soap Company, BJs Wholesale Club, Strideline Socks, Thorlo Socks, The Water Guy, AirBiotics, Target, Esse Reusable Bags, R&K Subs, Dominos, Farm to Feet, Palmer’s Body Lotion, and J&J Snack Food Corporation.
Community volunteers for the day will include students from Alvernia University.