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Events to honor Martin Luther King on Jan. 21

January 15, 2019

Source, The Times Herald, Gary Puleo

The area will be abuzz with activities on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 21.

For starters, the Keep Norristown Beautiful (KNB) committee is organizing a Community Clean Up.

“Keep Norristown Beautiful will be partnering with the Elmwood Park Zoo for a MLK Day of Service clean-up event all along Harding Boulevard,” explained KNB director Brandon Ford. “It will begin at 9 a.m. with volunteers meeting outside the Norristown Recreation Center (340 Harding Blvd., Norristown).”

Individuals and groups interested in participating or becoming sponsors can register by visiting

Last summer, the municipality officially joined the ranks of Keep America Beautiful, a 66-year-old nonprofit with a vision that includes community education and hands-on endeavors to end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities.

“We really had to put the effort in to join. We worked with the Keep America Beautiful Advisory Board and went through the necessary training and met all the requirements,” Ford explained. “The Keep America Beautiful national nonprofit has a full-fledged affiliate network. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is one of those affiliates, and within the state there are numerous township and other affiliates. In Southeastern Pennsylvania there are only three that I know of. There’s Keep Philadelphia beautiful, which is by far the largest affiliate, Keep Chester Beautiful, and us.”

With nearly a dozen service projects to choose from, opportunities to serve your neighbors and community will be in no short supply at St. John Lutheran Church, 1802 Skippack Pike in Blue Bell, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan.21.

Benefiting refugees and children, older adults with physical limitations, natural disaster human and animal victims, our troops, veterans and First Responders, volunteers you may choose to make fleece blankets or hoagies; write and decorate thank you letters or Valentine cards; assemble sock rolls, snack packs, welcome sacks, gift bags, or kitchen kits.

Any adult can participate, as well as children accompanied by an adult or teens needing community service hours.

There is no admission cost, but your donation of canned goods is requested. A free light lunch will be served.

For more information, call 610-277-1086.

The church requests volunteers to register for the event at

Main Line Neighbors reminds us of King’s words, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

In the spirit of answering that question, Main Line Neighbors suggests “bringing canned items and household supplies over to the local food pantry … volunteering at an animal rescue to walk and snuggle with adoptable dogs or spending time with an elderly neighbor who might need someone to vent to, staffing a helpline. Writing a check is terrific too but actively helping others opens a deeper level …

“Martin Luther King Jr. shared: ‘Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

“So, if you’d like to activate your ‘soul generated by love,’ give others the gift of yourself. Below are a few local potential recipients of your loving time, energy and items. But someone in need could be as close as the neighbor next door.”

RSVP Volunteer Placement Agency, 901 East 8th Ave., King of Prussia helps children and adults improve literacy, advises seniors on health insurance options, staffs food banks, thrift shops, blood drives, counsel non-profits, mentor or tutors students, delivers meals on wheels, supports Veterans, visits seniors or provides transit. Call 610-834-1040, ext 123 for Marguerita; e-mail volunteer123@rsvpmc.orgor check website ( for area events.

Blind Dog Rescue Alliance, House a visually impaired dog until adoption. Volunteers also needed to send e-mails, make phone calls, attend local event, run adoptions, check references, networking, transport and more.

Women’s Center of Montgomery County Bryn Mawr, Norristown, Lansdale. Volunteer-powered programs for victims of domestic violence. Volunteer activities including hotline counseling, community education events, court accompaniment, fundraising, thrift shop staffing and more.

Narberth Food Bank, 201 Sabine Avenue, Narberth, serving Narberth and Lower Merion as an emergency provider for the food insecure.

Ardmore Food Pantry, 36 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore, serving residents of Lower Merion who need assistance feeding their families and providing basic toiletry and hygiene needs.

Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board noted that in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Elmwood Park Zoo is offering $5 admission on Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 pm.

The organization suggests checking the website, as service events may be added.

“The January 18-21 weekend honors the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s a welcome mid-month pause that can be enjoyed throughout Montgomery County. But as a Day of Service, it should be much more than just that. So as you’re planning your long weekend with a volunteer project, be sure to stay at one of our 75-plus hotels and check out local attractions and dining.”