Community groups show what Martin Luther King Day means
"Each year we do a community service project, and this year, we do a homeless food drive for them is very, very important,'' said Brenda Kunz, a staff member for AmeriCorps based in Manchester.
For more than 200 dedicated members of AmeriCorps and City Year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day becomes more than a Monday holiday to sleep in or hit the slopes.
"You know they say it's an AmeriCorps day on instead of a day off. It's really cool for us to come together because we are spread across the state of New Hampshire,'' said Mel Sachs, an AmeriCorps staff member from Salem.
The volunteers heard inspirational speakers and a panel talk on King's legacy. Then they gathered bags of donated food and clothing items to give to homeless shelters across the state.
Peanut butter, hats, gloves, and toothbrushes are what homeless programs need the most.
Socks and gloves are most-requested items at homeless shelters, peanut butter requires no cooking, and there's a strong connection between dental care and wellness.
This event brings to the public eye groups often working in the shadows for those on the margins.
"Part of today is to bring awareness to who these programs are, where they exist and how we can continue to support them in the future," said Maria Linebaugh, an AmeriCorps coordinator.