In Columbus, Ohio, veterans and dedicated community members are on a mission to end food insecurity on the Southside. On January 26, 2019, the Columbus 1st Service Platoon continued this effort while honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service. As Dr. King emphasized, “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.”
One year ago the Columbus 1st Platoon held their first service project on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This year, the project was their largest to-date, and for the 45 participants (42 adults and 3 youth), including 26 veterans, it was a great opportunity to embody the values of Love and Selflessness that Dr. King lived daily.
A highlight of service projects in eight cities that embodied Dr. King’s core values.
This year’s service campaign built on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service, centering around his eight core values. Dr. King is important to us throughout the year, not just in January — in our communities, in relation to the issues we aspire to solve, in the partnerships we forge, and in the way we run our service projects. Thank you to every person, young and old, veteran and non-veteran, who stepped up to serve! You made the impact possible.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s eight core values from the Civil Rights Movement will be the center of veteran-led service projects happening in cities around the country
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.”
It is our duty as veteran leaders to inspire change
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on the principles of equality and selflessness that Dr. King embodied. Dr. King believed in celebrating and promoting the worth of every person. He championed for diverse cultures to live and thrive together in a spirit of love, understanding and service to one another.
Through his example, Dr. King challenged and empowered individuals to take action and lift up their neighbors and communities by volunteering. This January, The Mission Continues is issuing a call to serve through our campaign #LegacyofService.
On Veterans Day, The Mission Continues Detroit Platoons were joined by The Detroit Lions, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Comerica Bank, and Caniff Electric Supply Co. for a day of impact at the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan.
Veterans, civilians, community members, and corporate partner employees joined forces to make an impact in the lives of Detroit youth. The Lloyd H. Diehl clubhouse serves 60-100 children and teens daily, and is in continuous need of support to create and maintain a safe, welcoming environment for the youth to gather, learn, and play.
This event was a new opportunity for the Columbus 1st to help fight food insecurity through the creation of an urban farm learning lab! Through a partnership with Hamilton Township High School and the YMCA of Central Ohio, the platoon was able to rehab an old greenhouse and the surrounding outdoor space at Hoover YMCA Park which is about ½ a mile from the high school. Students and staff from the school joined veterans from The Mission Continues for this impactful day of service.
Kim Tapia, a member of the Columbus 1st Leadership Team stepped up to lead the project. 20 volunteers including nine veterans and six students put in 90 volunteer hours total for our Veterans Day campaign with Hamilton Township High School (HTHS).
It was an awesome day with good people and a great project for the community. I will definitely do more projects in the future. Being involved with The Mission Continues has really opened my eyes to see that our community needs help and I’m happy to be involved.
On Sunday, November 11th the Tampa Platoons brought together volunteers to transform the home of disabled Air Force veteran Gary Westmoreland in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Hillsborough County.
We’d like to share a compilation of just a few of the many service projects veteran and non-veteran volunteers accomplished in honor of Veterans Day. For us, Veterans Day is not about thanking veterans for their past service. Rather, we seek to redefine it as a day when we tell veterans they are STILL assets to their country, and they can serve again in new ways. So instead of saying “Thank you” — we say “We still need you–thank you for your CONTINUED service.”
Of course, our heartfelt thanks to our friends at BAE Systems, Inc., who made these projects possible through their support. We’ve had an incredible impact as a result!
Philadelphia, where our Philly service platoon members joined our friends at Travis Manion Foundation, Student Veterans of America, Team Red, White & Blue & Team Rubicon to serve alongside President George W. Bush, Mrs. Laura Bush, and folks from the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
South Hills Platoon (Pittsburgh 3rd Platoon) supports of the food security, literacy and civic engagement of refugee and immigrant population in the South Hills communities of Pittsburgh. This Veterans Day project ensured that the community garden was cleared to borough standards and prepared them to sustain their garden for next year.
Together, members of the Bhutanese refugee community joined with area veterans and other volunteers to cleared the entire garden, with over 50 plots, and built 11 new garden beds.
On Saturday, November 3, veteran leaders drove large-scale impact in Orlando, Florida in celebration of Veterans Day. Saturday’s event is just the beginning of The Mission Continues’ Veterans Day service campaign, in which 50 cities will be celebrating veterans by joining forces with them in community impact.
Fifty platoon members from Miami, Broward County, Tampa, and Jacksonville joined Orlando 1st and 2nd Service Platoons for a high-impact project. Volunteers built furniture for displaced Puerto Rican families resettling in central Florida.
Hurricane Maria forced more than 2,000 Puerto Rican families to evacuate to central Florida with only their most personal possessions in tow, leaving behind heavier items such as furniture.