Join the Einstein MLK Service Challenge!
Martin Luther King Day occurs the third Monday in January each year. Observed as “a day on, not a day off,” the Martin Luther King Day of Service is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service, to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
As part of our annual observation of the MLK holiday, the College of Medicine will again join institutions of learning and other organizations nationwide in honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy through community service work. From January 17 through January 23, 2021, Einstein is offering in-person opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to serve the Bronx community and beyond through our MLK Service Day Challenge.
“Now more than ever we recognize the importance of shared community and look forward to sharing our time, energy, and spirit with those around us in need,” said Dr. Nerys Benfield, senior associate dean for diversity & inclusion (D&I).
She added, “The difficulties of the 18 months have reinforced how vital pulling together can be for us and for those we help. We are pleased t to provide an avenue for our community members to participate in volunteer activities that honor Dr. King's legacy.”
Paid Time Off Available
For employees who volunteer their time during the designated week, human resources is offering two hours of paid time off, whether one’s community efforts are through Einstein or another volunteer organization of the individual’s choosing.
“While you can volunteer throughout the week for as many hours as you wish, we’re happy to provide employees with two hours of paid time toward their goodwill efforts,” said Yvonne Ramirez, vice president of human resources. “We know that members of the Einstein community will show their hearts as they so often do.”
COVID-19 Safety Measures and Service Challenge
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, each volunteer site will be required to limit the number of individuals on location at one time. Also, because we must notify sites in advance, the deadline to register for the Einstein-offered activities is Tuesday, January 11, 2021. Spaces for several opportunities are already nearly full. Be sure to visit the D&I website to sign up to take part.
You also can log your hours through January 23, 2021, to participate in our service challenge.
“Both individuals and departments that complete the most service hours from January 17 to 23, 2021 will receive a prize,” noted Fanta Sissoko, program coordinator for the office of D&I
Einstein has coordinated with five local organizations to provide these MLK Service opportunities:
- Project BRAVO Food Pantry
- Offer Feedback to HERO High School Researchers (Virtual)
- Food Justice and Medicine (FJAM) Bronx Grocery Delivery
- Groceries Giveaway with the Bronx Community Foundation
- Empowering Bronx Youth (Niño de la Caridad Foundation)
Following are details about each of these options. For more in-depth information, including dates/times available to volunteer your time, please visit the D&I site.
Opportunity 1: Project BRAVO Food Pantry— At Project BRAVO, volunteers will have the opportunity to help organize and shelve food items, package groceries, distribute packaged meals, groceries, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to community members, and conduct health screenings with community members.
Opportunity 2: Interdisciplinary Health Care Project Presentations by HERO High Students—
Please join us virtually as ninth-, tenth-, eleventh and twelfth-grade students present their research and action plans on managing chronic diseases and addressing public health issues in the Bronx. Visitors should expect to listen to student presentations, provide authentic feedback reflective of your area of expertise, and help to facilitate virtual roundtable discussions. Interdisciplinary projects are a key part of the academic program at HERO High.
The participation of caring adults with expertise in healthcare and education will make this a powerful learning experience for all. Given all that our students have been through this year, your participation is more appreciated than ever.
Opportunity 3: FJAM Bronx Grocery Delivery (Einstein Food Justice and Medicine)—Volunteers making deliveries will meet on campus in front of the Belfer building to collect groceries and depart for deliveries. Groceries will be packaged for specific community members. Transportation will not be provided. Feel free to visit the Einstein Zipcar page for more information on Einstein’s Zipcar program. Please note that delivering the groceries may take 1.5 to 3 hours.
Opportunity 4: Grocery Giveaway (The Bronx Community Foundation)—Volunteers will help distribute food items (non-perishables and fresh produce) and personal protective equipment (PPE) to community members of the Bronx. Please wear your own PPE during this event and note that this service opportunity will take place outside. Please dress accordingly.
Opportunity 5: Empowering Bronx Youth (Niño de la Caridad Foundation)— Volunteers help organize clothing, call families, assist with homework, and offer support through youth workshops. Volunteers may also assist with a volunteer opportunity such as cleaning up a park or serving hot meals to families.
For further details on each of these opportunities, or to register your volunteer activity, please visit the D&I website’s MLK Service Challenge page. You may engage in other volunteer opportunities outside of Einstein’s offerings as well and can find such activities on the AmeriCorps website. The deadline to register is Tuesday, January 11.
Service Reflection Event
As a follow up to the MLK Service Challenge, on Tuesday, January 25, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Einstein will host a virtual “reflection” Zoom so that members of our campus community can share their service experiences with one another.
Zoom ID: 924 5557 0086
Zoom Link: https://einsteinmed.zoom.us/j/92455570086
“We also encourage participants to take photos, where appropriate, that can be shared in a follow-up story on Inside Einstein and through our social media,” said Fanta. “For important guidelines on photography during your volunteer activity, please review our photo policy, noted at the end of the service challenge information posted on our site. And be sure to check with any organization with whom you volunteer to be aware of any policy they may have.”
Posted on: Monday, January 10, 2022