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Capital District Regional Volunteer Center Recognizes Organizations that Embody the Spirit of Martin Luther King Day And Challenges The Region to Volunteer

Call to Action: Community-Wide Food & Diaper Drive to Benefit The Food Pantries

January 2013 (Albany) — The Capital District Regional Volunteer Center (CDRVC), at the Stakeholders is encouraging people in the Capital Region to become involved in the community and volunteer. Leaders from local charitable organizations and businesses along with political leaders joined Stakeholders CEO Catherine Hedgeman at The Food Pantries in Albany, NY as she recognized organizations in the region that embody the spirit of Martin Luther King and discussed the importance of National Days of Service and volunteering. Each year, The CDRVC orchestrates volunteer events that assist in the efforts of charitable organizations in the Capital Region. Hedgeman said, “This year’s slogan is a play on Reverend King’s famous speech. We call it, I Dream. I Serve.”

Hedgeman said, “MLK Day is a recognized National Day of Service and a perfect time to educate our community about organizations that help those in need and also provide information about how everyone can get involved.” In particular, Hedgeman challenged the community in a call to action to support The Food Pantries by donating food and diapers. Hedgeman said anyone can go to The Stakeholders’ website (www.TheStakeholders.org) to find places to make their donations or register their place of business as a drop off location.

Congressman Paul Tonko was on hand to show his support of National Days of Service and the work of charitable organizations in the Capital Region. Tonko said, “Volunteer service is a vital component to a vibrant healthy community. The Stakeholders is making community service easily accessible to anyone wishing to help those in need. I commend their work, as well as that of The Food Pantries, Empire State Youth Orchestra City Instruments and all the organizations that help improve the quality of life for the needy, our neighborhoods and our community.”

Monica Wilson-Roach, Teacher for the Empire State Youth Orchestras City Instruments program spoke about how their organization helps to provide inner-city children the opportunity to receive music lessons and participate in ensembles that perform in places such as nursing homes and senior centers. Roach said, “Our program began in 1996 at Arbor Hill Elementary School. With generous donations from the community not only are we are able to provide inner city kids skills in the performing arts but we provide them an experience in a program that improves self-esteem and helps to teach them critical learning skills. We appreciate the opportunity to stand alongside the CDRVC to encourage the community to support programs like the Empire State Youth Orchestras City Instruments as well as other important charitable organizations in our community.”

Natasha Pernicka, executive director for The Food Pantries thanked the CDRVC for organizing the community-wide food and diaper drive in honor of MLK Day and said, “I am constantly impressed by the sheer number of volunteers who help The Food Pantries feed the people who are in need. Our organization could not accomplish our mission without their generous support.” Jeffrey Decatur a realtor for Re/Max in Albany, NY set up 7 realtor offices as drop off locations throughout the Capital Region. Decatur said, “We are encouraging people stop in and drop off their food and diaper donations and will transport them to The Food Pantries at the end of the drive.”

Hedgeman said, “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man who embodied the meaning of community service and The Stakeholders has taken his message to heart by encouraging everyone to get involved and take action.” Hedgeman suggested that people who are looking for volunteer opportunities can visit The Stakeholders website and search the volunteer portal.

How You Can Help – Go to www.TheStakeholders.org

  • Get more information about the Community Wide Food, Diaper and Fund drive.
  • Learn more about volunteer opportunities.
  • Get involved!

About The Stakeholders and The Capital District Regional Volunteer Center:

The Stakeholders conducts volunteer events each year to coincide with the National Days of Service. Those days are Martin Luther King Jr. Day and September 11th in honor of those who died and assisted in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack in New York City.

The Stakeholders is located at 915 Broadway, Albany, NY. The Stakeholders programs include The Stakeholders Institute, which educates participants on regional philanthropy, arts and sustainability; Days of Service; special community projects and the annual Get on Board Awards (a.k.a. The GOBYs), that recognize people of excellence in volunteerism.

The Stakeholders was recently designated as one of 10 Regional Volunteer centers in the State of New York by the New York State Commission on National and Community Service and is an affiliate of Hands On Network of the National Points of Light Institute, an organization supported by the George Bush Foundation.

For more information, contact Catherine Hedgeman, Stakeholders CEO, at 518-573-3108 or ceo@thestakeholders.org

About the New York State Commission on National and Community Service

The State Commission on National & Community Service works collaboratively with the Corporation for National & Community Service and New York State Education Department to administer 240 national service programs that engage more than 80,000 volunteers annually in the State of New York. The State Commission and its partners leverage the impact of AmeriCorps, VISTA, and Senior Corps programs to address the needs identified in the State’s service and civic engagement agenda in the core areas of education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, disaster services, veterans and military families, and economic opportunity. In addition, the State Commission leads the efforts of a statewide network of ten regional volunteer centers that partner with community-based organizations to deliver training and resources that build volunteer management capacity in order to more effectively meet state and local needs.

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