PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Monday might be a holiday and a day off for some but it is still a day ‘on’ for a lot of people. It is the 16th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in Philadelphia and the region.
The armory at Girard College is the center of the day of service. It has been set up to contain about 150 different projects including coat and clothing drives, book drives, street and mural art projects and reading coaching.
Todd Bernstein, founder and director of the Martin Luther King Day of Service, said their signature project will focus on digital inclusion and providing broadband technology for people in underserved communities. “We have 100 computers set up here which will be refurbished. The mayor is going to lead that effort,” Bernstein said. “It’s part of the two-year initiative to provide 5,000 refurbished computers and training and technology workshops.”
Bernstein also said they are assembling 2,000 digital kits that will go towards those workshops. All of those efforts, he said, will try to provide resources and information to people in low-income areas. “It’s really important to get essential information, apply for jobs and college and the fact is that 41-percent of Philadelphians don’t have access to social media,” said Bernstein.
Bernstein also emphasized that a day of volunteering can lead to a lifetime of service. “Dr. King was a man of action 365 days of the year and a lot of these activities are merely the springboard to ongoing community involvement,” said Bernstein.
Throughout the region, 75,000 volunteers are expected to work on 1,200 community service projects.
Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio; Jericka Duncan, CBS 3