NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading up to and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, The Mission Continues, a national veterans' nonprofit, will commemorate Dr. King's legacy through large-scale community service. Veteran volunteers with the organization will apply their skills in over 45 cities nationwide to transform communities and create lasting impact. A selection of these cities and their projects have been identified as representations of the core values Dr. King preached during the Civil Rights Movement: Nonviolence, Hope, Equality, Faith, Education, Love, Leadership and Selflessness.
"Dr. King unified and mobilized millions of people as forces for change in their community. He and his values are an inspiration to all of us," said Spencer Kympton, U.S. Army veteran and president of The Mission Continues. "It's only fitting that we honor him and carry on those values by bringing service-minded people together in veteran-led community action, all across the country."
The national Legacy of Service campaign will rally hundreds of empowered veterans, corporate partners and community volunteers with the common goal of improving underresourced communities at the local level. With dozens of causes at the center of the work, the projects will address timely community needs such as enhancing schools and learning environments for students, improving community gardens, cleaning up nature preserves and much more. Campaign investments from The Starbucks Foundation, CarMax, 21st Century Fox and FOX Sports Supports will further fuel the reach of these veteran leaders.
"Giving back to the communities we serve and using our scale for good has been part of Starbucks mission since its founding," said Virginia Tenpenny, vice president, Global Social Impact at Starbucks and executive director of The Starbucks Foundation. "We are excited to join others throughout the U.S. to honor Dr. King's legacy by building unity and belonging in our neighborhoods, not just today but year-round."
Details for the eight representative cities and their projects include:
Atlanta & Clarkston – Nonviolence
Veteran leaders and partners will tackle two Atlanta-area projects promoting act of kindness on this day of service. In Clarkston, the veterans have teamed up with Friends of Refuges, an organization that promotes acceptance and provides support services for the local refugee population. Alongside partners from Starbucks, volunteers will beautify the grounds by painting, landscaping, and building benches and picnic tables at Friends of Refugees, Clarkston United Methodist Church, and Clarkston Community Center. In Atlanta, the veteran force will serve at The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, assembling activity kits for the children of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Broward & Miami – Hope
This large-scale effort will bring together the Broward County and Miami veteran-led platoons to support Southern Florida, an area hit hard by recent hurricanes. The teams will infuse hope into the community by improving the Jack & Jill Children's Center in Ft. Lauderdale. During the project, veterans and volunteers will be painting a mural, building picnic tables, a reading loft and planter boxes.
Chicago – Education
Veterans will serve in Chicago by pouring their skills into Joplin Elementary School, an ongoing project site for the veteran platoons. As with many local schools, Joplin Elementary struggles with an increasing student-to-teacher ratio and stretched resources. Veterans, community partners and Target volunteers will come together to improve the overall learning environment at the school, painting of murals, building greenhouse tables and installing educational games.
Dallas – Equality
The service project will take place in the 10th Street District, which is one of the only remaining, intact Freedmen's Towns in the country, where freed slaves settled after the Emancipation Declaration and built a foundation of equality for its residents. To help improve the historic area, veterans and volunteers will continue their build of the first community garden in the district to help alleviate struggles of the ongoing food desert and have the garden remain a beacon of change towards increased equality for the community.
New Orleans – Selflessness
Located in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, the Sankofa Nature Trail and Wetland Preserve is an environmental sanctuary, as well as an educational and relaxation space for community members. The preserve also plays a key role in absorbing stormwater to help prevent damage due to natural disasters. Veterans and college student volunteers will be doing light construction and clearing of the wetlands, improving the preserve and demonstrating the selfless act of protecting the area and its residents from future natural disasters.
Pittsburgh – Faith
The local, veteran-led platoon will be continuing to improve and update the Spartan Center, renovating classrooms and shared spaces that are used for after-school programming for local youth. This project is part of a long-term impact in the community, where veterans and residents have maintained faith in the community to come together to improve the lives of the people in the area.
San Diego – Leadership
Local veterans and partners from Starbucks will be taking on the task of developing play spaces and additional educational resources for the Logan Heights Community Development Corporation at Future Achievers Preschool, which will ultimately help jump-start the lives of the community's future leaders. Specific activities during the service project include a playground build kick-off, setting up a paint station, constructing garden beds, assembling picnic tables and much more.
Seattle – Love
Veteran volunteers will lead the charge of constructing a new aspect of the Danny Woo Community Garden. This hotspot is the place where residents come together and work as one, showcasing the love that is needed to keep the community together. Specific activities happening during the day include building an outdoor bulletin board, mulching, gardening preps, and neighborhood clean-ups.
The Mission Continues' MLK Jr. Day of Service campaign is the first of a series of national service campaigns heading into 2019, along with weekly year-round veteran-led initiatives across the country. No matter the community or cause, we serve with one mission in mind: empower a movement of veteran leaders to drive visible community impact.
To find additional details about these community projects, as well as additional events happening around the country, please visit www.missioncontinues.org.
About The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to build stronger communities through service. Our programs in cities across the country deploy veteran volunteers alongside nonprofit partners and community leaders to improve educational resources, increase access to parks and green spaces, foster neighborhood identity, and more. Through this unique model, veterans build meaningful connections and grow as individuals while creating long-term, sustainable local impact. To learn more, visit http://www.missioncontinues.org or follow us on Twitter at @missioncontinue.
About The Starbucks Foundation
Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation has strengthened communities around the world by advancing opportunities for youth, veterans, refugees and coffee, tea and cocoa farmers and their families, supporting communities affected by disaster, and promoting civic engagement. The Starbucks Foundation is a U.S. 501 (c)(3) charitable organization under U.S. law, and receives funding primarily from Starbucks Corporation and private donations. Learn more at https://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/community/starbucks-foundation.
CarMax is the nation's largest retailer of used cars and operates 200 stores in 41 states nationwide. CarMax revolutionized the auto industry by delivering the honest, transparent and high-integrity car buying experience customers want and deserve. For more than 25 years, CarMax has made car buying more ethical, fair and stress-free by offering a no-haggle, no-hassle experience and an incredible selection of vehicles. CarMax makes selling your car easy too, by offering no-obligation appraisals good for seven days. At CarMax, we'll buy your car even if you don't buy ours®. CarMax has more than 25,000 associates nationwide and for 14 consecutive years has been named as one of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For®. During the 12 months ending February 28, 2018, the company retailed 721,512 used cars and sold 408,509 wholesale vehicles at its in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at www.carmax.com.
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Jones, The Mission Continues
SOURCE The Mission Continues