Volunteer Maine, Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation award grants to help students better understand MLK’s legacy, impact

AUGUSTA -- Maine's service commission, Volunteer Maine, and the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation are pleased to announce the 2020 Maine Youth Act Mini-grant Program recipients. The winning community organizations are First Parish Congregational Church of Saco, Maine; The Game Loft of Belfast, Maine; and Portland Housing Authority of Portland, Maine.

The Maine Youth Act Mini-grant Program challenges middle and high school aged students to understand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision of the "Beloved Community" and then take action in their community on an issue by planning a volunteer service project. Each project will culminate with activity on or around MLK Day on Jan. 20, 2020. All projects are open to the public.

Information on each organization's service project is as follows:

The Game Loft:

  • Where: County of Waldo Emergency Management Agency (4 Public Safety Way, Belfast, ME 04915)
  • Time: Sunday, January 19, 2020 from 12 p.m. -- 4 p.m.
  • Activity: "Emergency Preparedness for a Zombie Apocalypse" --- Students in Game Loft's I Know ME program will teach the community how to prepare for an emergency by utilizing zombie apocalypse preparedness resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal is to help people gain the skills to have tough conversations with their family, friends, mentees, and community members.

First Parish Church:

  • Where: 12 Beach Street, Saco, ME 04072
  • Time: Monday, January 20, 2020 from 9 a.m. -- 1 p.m.
  • Activity: "Healthy in Body, Soul and Mind" -- Middle and high school aged students will prepare grab-and-go bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, hygiene products, and household cleaning products. Students will also lead guests through mindfulness activities, such as simple yoga positions and relaxation techniques.

Portland Housing Authority:

  • Where: SPACE Gallery (538 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101)
  • Time: Monday, January 20, 2020 from 11 a.m. -- 2 p.m.
  • Activity: Portland Housing Authority in partnership with the Portland branch of the NAACP and SPACE Gallery are partnering to provide an opportunity for children who live in public housing to learn about and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and his message of "Beloved Community." Students will celebrate Dr. King's legacy through artistic and musical expression at SPACE Gallery, and members of the public are invited to attend and learn with the students.

The Maine Youth Act Selection Committee authorized each grant of up to $750 to support planning and carrying out a student/youth-driven service project. As noted by The King Center, "Dr. King's Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth," and that human decency will prevail over poverty, hunger, homelessness, and all forms of discrimination.

About The Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation

The Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation was founded in 1993 by the membership of the Grand Lodge of Maine and is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization under the Internal Revenue Code incorporated in the State of Maine. The mission of the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation is to support various programs throughout the State of Maine, and beyond when appropriate, which will enhance the lives of individuals and communities with Masonic ties. Through our dedicated staff and the tireless work of hundreds of volunteers, our programs and efforts reach individuals and families of all ages and backgrounds.

About Volunteer Maine

Volunteer Maine, the state service commission, builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers and service-learning practitioners, raising awareness of the scope and the impact of the volunteer sector, and encouraging an ethic of service. As of October 16, 2019, the Maine Commission for Community Service has adopted the identity Volunteer Maine.

Media Contact

Bryan Roche, communications officer, Volunteer Maine
Office: (207) 624-7836
Email address: bryan.roche@maine.gov

View coverage

Kids in Belfast learn how to prep for a zombie apocalypse -- WABI TV 5 -- view coverage here.

Game Loft takes part in emergency preparedness service project -- Republican Journal -- read coverage here.

Mainers celebrate Martin Luther King Day as a day of community service -- WMTW 8 -- view coverage here.

Saco church hosts annual MLK Jr. Day of Service -- Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier -- read coverage here.

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