Over 200 Volunteer at 22nd Annual MLK Day of Service Clothing & Food Drive Over 200 Volunteer at 22nd Annual MLK Day of Service Clothing & Food Drive

a young woman with pink headphones loads a cardboard box onto a vehicle trailer

This Monday, Nottingham High School hosted the 22nd Annual MLK Day of Service clothing and food drive, presented by the Greater Syracuse Labor Council and United Way of CNY.

While many took the federal holiday as a break from work and school, upwards of 200 volunteers spent their morning accepting, sorting, and packaging donations for the local community.

Serving as both the United Way of CNY’s AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison and Syracuse Common Council President, Helen Hudson says community service means everything to her. Inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr.’s son, she created this day of service 22 years ago.

“I had heard Dr. King’s son say that just because you have the day off, it’s not a day off. He basically said that it’s a day on, for service.”

A white banner with blue lettering reads, "United Way of Central New York - UNITED, WE DO MORE."

While the day of service has repeated annually for over two decades, a new sponsor has emerged in recent years. In October of 2022, Micron Technology announced that they would be building a $100 billion semiconductor plant in CNY. For the two MLK Days of Service since, Micron’s sponsorship has given the drive access to exclusive flash sales and bargains at major retailers like Macy’s.

Black women in Greek letters fold and box donated clothing

Hudson does not see this yearly tradition ending anytime soon, rather expresses hope for its continual growth and support from the community.

“Next year, we’re looking for a bigger, better turnout and bigger and better donations—that we can all come together as one community, and make this happen as one community.”

Related Articles