Marching Toward Service

On MLK Day of Service, UMass Dartmouth's SouthCoast Serves Plans Volunteer March, Gift-Pack Service Project with GiftsToGive in New Bedford

SouthCoast Serves, a UMass Dartmouth and Leduc Center for Civic Engagement collaborative that fosters service and volunteerism, will echo Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message of service and leadership on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Monday, January 20, 2014 by inviting the region to take part in a march to GiftsToGive in New Bedford (21 Cove Street) at 12:00 p.m., where volunteers will dedicate their time to serve their community's needs. 

Upon arrival to GiftsToGive, a former textile mill turned into a philanthropic center, volunteers will organize gift-packs of clothes, books, and toys for thousands of local children who are homeless or living in poverty. Those interested in taking part this year in the march may contact Those interested in volunteering at GiftsToGive, should register by visiting and submit a volunteer ticket. Last year, close to 700 volunteers took part in the day of service at GiftsToGive. 

"The MLK Day of Service helps demonstrate the power of giving and service," offered CEO and Founder of GiftsToGive Jim Stevens. "Utilizing the time and talents donated by thousands of volunteers, we can continue to build a community which ensures children are connected with what they need. We are fortunate to have a partner in SouthCoast Serves, along with our many other philanthropic partners, that remain so dedicated to the idea of Big Citizenship." 

The march to the gift-pack project will begin at Roosevelt Junior High School in New Bedford, following a teach-in that begins at 9:00 a.m., which will include the showing of the powerful film "The Children's March". 

SouthCoast Serves has launched an Anti-Hunger Campaign, as an addition to its Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project, funded by the Massachusetts Service Alliance. This year, SouthCoast Serves hopes to echo Dr. King's anti-poverty message by encouraging service and volunteerism around the issue of food security. January 20th is also the opening date for SouthCoast Serves' first exhibit for Art, Food, Justice, an integral part of the campaign. Music, appetizers, and local art will be enjoyed, beginning at 5:00 p.m., at the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in New Bedford. There will be opportunities to donate during an online auction at the exhibit to support local food pantries and agencies. An art exhibit will also be on display at Fall River City Hall later in the month. 

UMass Dartmouth's SouthCoast Serves strives to meet the needs of communities by leveraging resources, expertise, and capacity to maximize impact. For more information, visit or SouthCoast Serves' Facebook page.

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