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Habitat for Humanity Honors MLK Monday through Volunteer Projects

The Forest Hills-based Greater Pittsburgh branch will conduct 25 service projects with 500 volunteers to remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s service legacy.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh, based in Forest Hills, will host its second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event on Monday, Jan. 21.

The affordable housing nonprofit has organized 25 different service projects across the region with more than 500 volunteers registered to make their traditional day off a “day on” with Habitat. The MLK Day of Service is the largest volunteer effort in the region for the holiday—and volunteers will put in about 3,500 hours of service.

The volunteers will be working in 17 different neighborhoods around greater Pittsburgh.

Volunteers will convene in Braddock at 8:30 a.m. at the Nyia Page Community Center, 416 Library St., Braddock for a free breakfast, T-shirts, orientation and opening remarks. The volunteers will disperse to their sites at 9 a.m. and work until 1:30 p.m., when they will return to the community center for lunch.

The meal will be provided at 2 p.m. by nationally acclaimed Pittsburgh chef Kevin Sousa and his Union Pig & Chicken restaurant in East Liberty. A closing ceremony will follow and conclude by 3:30 p.m.

Among the projects in the Forest Hills-Regent Square local area are:

  • Performing interior demolition work at the historic Ohringer Building in Braddock
  • Recovering more than 70 tires in an illegal dumpsite in Braddock
  • Cleaning around the Animal Rescue League shelter in East Liberty
  • Performing maintenance chores at Heritage Community Initiatives early childhood care centers in Braddock
  • Helping clean and organize the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Edgewood Towne Centre

A full list of projects can be found by clicking here, where you can also see the volunteer opportunities that remain open.

For the event, Habitat has partnered with global volunteer organization Service For Peace, the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, Giant Eagle, Sousa and the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh.

“It’s about partnership and getting Habitat’s message regarding affordable housing and advocacy for decent housing to a diverse population," said Habitat Executive Director Maggie Withrow, explaining why the groups have joined together for the event. "Our belief is that each one of the lives touched today becomes a little more aware of how Habitat is working in the greater Pittsburgh community.”

Last year, Habitat hosted its first MLK Day event with 16 service projects and a little more than 300 volunteers.

“People started registering for projects in October and we had some days in January where nearly 100 people registered in one day," said MLK Event Coordinator Jeremy Martin, who is also Habitat's community outreach and faith relations coordinator. "It’s amazing to see Pittsburgh respond in this way.

“This is a chance for Pittsburgh to see that Habitat is more than helping families with affordable housing. We are in the community in many ways. I believe it is our mission to help build stronger, safer, and better communities in any way we can as a nonprofit and as neighbors."

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Team Dawg January 20, 2013 at 12:14 AM
Your continued service to community and those in need is a true inspiration that can never be measured. The recognition and thanks you all deserve is infinite as well. On behalf of Team Dawg thank you for everything you do! Everyday Heroes one and all!

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