“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Members of Berea College’s Partners for Education PartnerCorp members serving Knox Central High School extended their service into the community as part of their annual day of service on Martin Luther King Day.
Kathy Gray, coordinator for PartnerCorp at Knox Central, said that the group decided to partner with Ryan’s Place on the Court Square in Barbourville to give back to the community this year.
The members collected and donated items that were on the organization’s most needed list that they felt PartnerCorp and Knox Central could easily obtain. Items that PartnerCorp donated included towels, washcloths, detergents, and men and women’s socks.
Justin Fee is the crisis center coordinator and supportive case management services. According to Fee in the past year, they have served 46 individuals.
Fee stated that there is always a need, and at the current time, they are seeking donations of air mattresses, pillows, blankets, and pots and pans. These items are to assist individuals experiencing temporary hardships get set up in their own place.
Gray and PartnerCorp members hope that their contributions to Ryan’s Place will help the goal of assisting individuals to get back on their feet.
PartnerCorps is a program of AmeriCorps with members volunteering for 11 to 12 months in schools and other non-profits. Martin Luther King Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. The Corporation for National Community Service, the agency that oversees AmeriCorps and other national service programs, has led the effort for the last 25 years.
Partners for Education at Berea College uses a place based, student focused approach to improve educational outcomes in Appalachian Kentucky. By braiding services and aligning federal, state and private funding streams Partners for Education works to ensure all Appalachian students succeed at school.