The Arc is thrilled to announce it has once again received funding from AmeriCorps, an organization that has worked for decades to make service to others an indispensable part of the American experience. With this grant, The Arc will continue to build both of its inclusive volunteering national initiatives: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance.

The Arc’s MLK Day of Service grant focuses on alleviating community hunger while the September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance grant prepares their neighbors for their next emergency. For each grant, The Arc uses a competitive process to select chapters of The Arc and other nonprofits to participate. Once selected, sub-grantees implement inclusive volunteer projects in their local communities featuring volunteers with and without disabilities working side-by-side on their respective issues.

In 2023, The Arc selected 12 grantees for the MLK Day of Service grant and 12 grantees for its September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance project. Our 2023 MLK Day of Service grantees are ABC Hopes; AHRC Nassau; AHRC NYC; The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne; The Arc Harrisonburg and Rockingham; The Arc Nature Coast; The Arc of Oklahoma; The Arc of the Quad Cities Area; Ridge Area Arc; STAR, Inc.; The Arc of South Carolina; and Youth Impact.

Our 2023 September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance recipients are: ABC Hopes; AHRC Nassau; Athletes for Hope; Easton Economic Development Corporation; Egyptian Area Agency on Aging; The Arc Greater Beaumont; The Arc of East Central Iowa; The Arc Muskegon; The Arc Nature Coast; The Arc of South Carolina; STAR, Inc.; and Volunteer New York.

Already in 2023, the grantees have hit the ground running, improving the lives of their neighbors through inclusive volunteering. Our MLK recipients kicked off their grant year by holding a keynote event on MLK Day of Service January 16. For this special day, these organizations developed and implemented projects seeking to reduce hunger among their neighbors. Some of their initiatives included:

  • Holding a PB&J making contests to see who could make the most sandwiches in five minutes. They later donated nearly 700 sandwiches to local homeless shelters.
  • Organizing drive-through pantries where participants received two to three weeks’ worth of meals. Over 600 individuals received food boxes.
  • Collecting non-perishable food items for emergency food bags. Each bag containing enough food for two meals for a family of five—approximately the ingredients for 1,000 meals!
  • Hosting a canned food drive at an athletic facility where participants received a free workout in exchange for their donation.

Overall, all grantees characterized the day as a complete success! Local citizens worked in unity for a common cause, neighbors were given the nourishment they needed, and most of all, everyone was included. The MLK Day of Service grantees will continue to focus on supporting hunger events for the remainder of the grant period. Similarly, our September 11 grantees are gearing up to start their projects within their communities. We can’t wait to see how both groups make a difference in their local communities this year! Learn more about The Arc’s volunteering initiatives and access free resources to get started with inclusive volunteering in YOUR community!

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