Best Moments from Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 2019

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.

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Philadelphia 1st Service Platoon Expands Operation with the Help of JROTC Students

After 2 years of working at Edison High School, Philadelphia 1st Platoon is expanding their operation to include additional schools throughout the district.

In order to ensure that the expansion and growth is done in a strategic, human-centered way, our staff (City Impact Manager Stephanie Grimes and Regional Project Specialist Marvin Cadet) traveled to Philadelphia to facilitate a visioning and design session with stakeholders from the Philadelphia School Districts Office of Special Education and leadership and JROTC students from Martin Luther King High School.

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Hometown Huddle: A Detroit Veteran’s Day and MLK Day Collaboration

By Emily Ferstle, City Impact Manager

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.

Check out the impact we made for Veterans Day and join us for more during our MLK Day of Service at the clubhouse for Blue Door Blitz!

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Poised for Impact in the South Bronx

By Mohan Sivaloganathan, Northeast Executive Director

You don’t have to be world-famous to make an impact – you just have to dedicate the time, energy, and effort to work with your community from the ground-up and lead by example.

Derrick Clark, Navy Veteran and The Mission Continues Platoon Leader

For generations, our veterans have inspired people to affect positive change. Here in New York – a city that prides itself in coming together to advance the greater good – our veterans are continuing to step up on behalf of children and families.

From promoting healthy lifestyles to developing youth leadership to creating safe recreation spaces, veterans who serve with The Mission Continues are reclaiming a sense of purpose and gaining recognition as one of the city’s most vital levers for social impact.

As we look forward to 2019, we see that we’ve reached a tipping point for our work in New York City. In the coming year, we will activate more veterans than ever and truly position veterans at the forefront of the city’s service movement.

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How Josue Guerrero-Uribe Continues the Mission

By Josue Guerrero-Uribe, Platoon Leader

Some people are lucky enough to have a superhero. Having one is what inspired me–but serving others, as superheroes do, is what saved me.

Donate $50 today and help The Mission Continues empower more veterans like me.

I spent my early childhood in Mexico, where my father was a doctor and my mother was a nurse. Life was peaceful at first, but the cartels took that away, and we fled to the United States–leaving everything behind in an instant. I went from being a rich kid to living in an industrial ghost town. I felt attacked on all sides, as if everything about me was wrong. My language was wrong. My food was wrong. My clothes were wrong. My skin tone was wrong. Inside the home we were Mexican, but inside my head all I could hear was Be MORE American.

Neighbors vandalized our home, and classmates beat me up. One day as I was being pummeled by bullies, the kicks and blows suddenly fell away. I looked up to see the uniformed Marine Corps recruiter who had sent the bullies packing. In that moment, he was my superhero, and I wanted to be just like him.

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Kicking Off Veterans Day with a Sunshine State Boriqua Build

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.

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Why I Donated My Birthday to The Mission Continues

We just may have what you didn’t know was missing.

By Sean Tyler, volunteer

One of the biggest challenges in my life was leaving the U.S. Army after over 15 years of service as an enlisted Infantryman and a commissioned Medical Service Corps Officer.

I medically retired in December of 2013, and for lack of better words, I was not prepared. In 2012 I was diagnosed with PTSD and had significant damage to both my hip and back; I received a total hip replacement that same year. My last two years of active duty were full of surgeries, medical, and mental health appointments. The combination of these ailments led to my medical retirement.

To me at the time, being non-deployable was a death sentence for my career, and a PTSD diagnosis was a death sentence for my soul. I felt as if I was broken beyond repair and obliged to fulfill my new moniker as a “dysfunctional veteran.” I dove head first into self-loathing and alcohol abuse to numb my emptiness and despair.

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New Program, Service Leadership Corps Kicks Off in Newark

For the launch of our newest program, the Service Leadership Corps, 50+ veterans gathered in Newark, New Jersey to engage in innovative leadership training and community service. The weekend marked the beginning of their commitment as they embarked on our 6-month program to tackle some of our nation’s toughest challenges by partnering with community organizations on a local level.

We’d like to thank our sponsors, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Boeing, and CarMax, for making this program possible.

It was truly an energizing experience to have so many impact-minded veterans gathered in a professional setting. Conversations were productive. Connections were purposeful. Outcomes and goals were concrete.

The weekend was about the same three things that The Mission Continues is all about — connectedness, community impact, and personal growth.

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