PLATTSBURGH — Foster kids are the focus of a MLK Day of Service project set for today at the Ted K. Center.
Volunteers will fill backpacks from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with items like crayons, colored pencils, drawing pads, journals and personal care items that will be given to children under the care of foster parents.
”There are over 100 kids in foster care in Clinton County,” said Diane Chanowsky in a news release.
Many of them carry their schoolbooks in plastic grocery bags because they don’t have backpacks, she said.
Chanowsky, volunteer outreach coordinator for the Plattsburgh Housing Authority, said Friday that 60 new backpacks had been donated, so far, by community members.
The Housing Authority won one of 10 mini-grants offered by the North Country Regional Volunteer Center to nonprofit agencies, organizations and groups for Martin Luther King Day projects to be performed by volunteers.
Those funds bought the art supplies and other items that will go in the backpacks, Chanowsky told the Press-Republican.
The Ted K Center, located at 8 Tyrell Ave., serves children and families who live in Housing Authority developments, providing educational, social and recreational programs.
Its director is Tom Neale.
Anyone can stop in to help with the Foster a Backpack Project, Chanowsky said, and help “the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. live on,” the release said.
And Ted K. Center staff hope the project will become an annual event.
BASIC NEEDS DRIVE
The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, President Barack Obama’s national call-to-service initiative.
Another MLK DAY initiative is the Basic Needs Drive, a project of the Regional Volunteer Center, which is operated by the United Way of the Adirondack Region Inc., along with the SUNY colleges in the region.
Today through Feb. 3, volunteers will collect warm clothing, including coats, scarves, hats, mittens, socks and pajamas, along with personal-hygiene and baby items that will be distributed to local agencies for the needy.