Editor, The Knox Student:
April 5 is Mayor’s Day, a day on which elected officials recognize the positive impact of national service programs in their communities and encourage citizens to give back and contribute to these efforts. VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) is one such program. VISTA was founded in 1965 as a way for willing volunteers to combat poverty. It became part of the AmeriCorps network of national service programs in 1993. In Knox County there are three AmeriCorps VISTA members whose projects involve strengthening and providing support to educational institutions, helping immigrants adjust to life in Knox County, and assisting first generation college students. RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), another national service program active in our community, grew out of various private groups that kept seniors active, engaged and helpful in their communities and became a national program in 1969. There are 140 Senior Corps/RSVP members in Knox County who volunteer their free time to improve lives throughout the community.
On this Mayor’s Day we urge residents to turn their attention to the role of and services provided by shelters and food pantries in the area, which provide vital assistance to those in need. To assist these indispensable organizations, a food and clothing drive will be hosted by our AmeriCorps VISTAS with collection sites at RAES East (the Regional Alternative Education System) and the Kleine Center for Community Service at Knox College in Alumni Hall. Local residents and students will be able to support these non-profits by donating non-perishable food and clothing through bags that will be distributed in certain neighborhoods on April 5. These bags may be filled with donated materials and will be collected one week later. Donations will then be distributed to FISH Food Pantry, the Galesburg Rescue Mission and Safe Harbor. If you do not receive a bag but still wish to participate, donations can be dropped off at the Kleine Center in Alumni Hall or at Seymour Gallery at Knox College. For more information contact Ben King at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AmeriCorps VISTA- Galesburg, IL