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Today is the 20th Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service and there is no shortage of service opportunities here in Philadelphia.  From outdoor cleanups to clothing drives, beautification projects to career workshops, assisting senior citizens with minor home repairs to providing free HIV testing– there is a way for EVERYONE to serve!

Here are 20 ways you can serve today (or any day for that matter!):

1. PRO-ACT (Outdoor Cleanup)
Volunteers will be assisting in the Philadelphia Recovery Community Center clean up starting at Broad Street and Lehigh Avenue and ending at 22nd Street and Lehigh Avenue. For info contact Stacie Leap at 215-923-1661 or

2. Unitarian Society of Germantown (Outdoor Cleanup)
Volunteers can assist with two projects at this location – clean up trash and debris along a section of Germantown Avenue and/or help prepare for a new food store at the Center for Returning Citizens. For more info contact Sarah West at 215-984-8923 or

3. Antonia Pantoja Charter School Library
Volunteers will help to process and shelf donated books and materials for the school’s library. Volunteers will type labels for books, apply labels, tape the spines of books, enter books into the card catalog by following a list of steps, and shelf books on the library shelves. They will also have the opportunity to choose the job that fits them best. For more info contact Elizabeth Tarde at 570-509-4059 or

4. Chosen 300 Ministries (Outdoor Cleanup/Meal Service)
Volunteers can help clean up the city and serve a hot meal to the homeless in either of their Center City or West Philadelphia locations. For more info contact John Bromley at 215-765-9806 or

5.New Kensington Community Development Corporation (Somerset Neighbors for Better Living Cleanup Day)
Somerset Neighbors for Better Living is hosting this cleanup day in their neighborhood. Neighbors and volunteers will work alongside each other to complete the art project along the fence on the Jasper Street lot. In addition to painting the panels on the fence, participants will also do a cleanup of the lot. For more info contact Erin Cartwright at 215-427-0350 or

6. EducationWorks (Penn Treaty Beautification Project)
Volunteers will be participating in a beautification project by helping to paint Penn Treaty’s 3rd and 4th floor lockers. For more info contact Joseph Brand at 215-221-6900 or

7. Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC Thrift Store/Camouflage Rhino)
Volunteers will fold, sort, move, and arrange clothing. Stock shelves, tag, and move merchandise. Move furniture around the store. Unload box truck full of donated items. There will not be any painting involved. Suggested clothing is jeans and sneakers or boots. Food, water, snacks will be available. For more info contact Tyrone Beach at 215 238-8052 or

8. Your A.O.K. Foundation, Inc. (McVeigh Recreation Center)
Please join Your A.O.K. Foundation, Inc. and McVeigh Recreation Center to help revitalized the outdoor playground area. We will also participate in cleaning the inside of the recreation center. Lunch will be provided. For info contact Yano Williams at 267-258-9231 or

9. Cherashore Advisory Council (Cherashore Beautification Project)
Volunteers will participate in a graffiti removal project. For more info contact Deanna Bredell at 267-228-6418 or

10. Klein JCC (Klein JCC/Rhawnhurst NORC)
Volunteers are invited to help out, decorate and do minor repair for seniors who are physically limited from doing activities such as changing smoking detectors, moving and cleaning behind furniture, reorganizing cabinets, filing paper work and changing light bulbs. For more info contact Julie Borsky at 215-698-7300 or

11. Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation (Houseman Recreation Center Indoor Cleanup)
Volunteers will be performing an indoor cleanup and painting project. For more info contact Fletcher Anderson at 215-685-1240 or

12. Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia (Scholarship Application Distribution)
Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia (CSFP) distributes needs-based scholarships to low-income children living in Philadelphia, awarded by random lottery. Families may submit applications to CSFP’s scholarship lottery from November through March 1, 2015. In order to reach more families needing support, volunteers will help distribute applications and posters to local businesses to help spread the word about CSFP’s free scholarship application. For more info contact Heather Cressman at 215-557-2229 or

13. Hope worldwide Greater Philadelphia (Boys’ Latin King Day Kickoff)
Volunteers will participate in a rally at Boys’ Latin Charter where they will enjoy stories and speeches of how MLK’s legacy has inspired people to service. For more info contact Crystal Morris at 267-259-3437 or

14. Urban Technology Project (S.T.E.M. Family Fair)
The Urban Technology Project’s Digital Service Fellows will host a family friendly event at the Blumberg Apartments that will explore and introduce a variety of fun S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities. For more info contact Natasha Camy at 215-299-4680 or

15. Holy Apostles & The Mediator Church (Collection Drives)
Volunteers will be collecting new and used clothing for Veterans (Male & Female) and the Wounded Warrior Project. Items needed include: coats, jackets, suits, pants, socks, gloves, hats, scarves, shirts blouses and skirts. All clothing donated must be clean and in plastic bags. For more info contact Janis Moore at 267-322-8795 or

16. Harmonious Volunteer Center (Shoe Drive Sorting)
Volunteers will be gathering and sorting donated shoes on the King Day of Service. For more info contact Irvin Shannon at 267-595-5278 or

17. Papa Playground (Career Workshop)
Volunteers will show participants how to complete online applications for employment and job searching. Refreshments will be provided for volunteers.  Contact Judith Kelly or Luther Collins at 215-685-0141 or

18. Mission, Inc. (Resume & Career Workshop)
Volunteers will assist in providing free legal advice, resume support, advice on starting a nonprofit or small business, getting a record expunged, going to college, securing a professional wardrobe, and other essential services. For more info contact Lawanda Horton at 267-331-5971 or

19. African American Museum in Philadelphia (Collection Drives)
The African American Museum will be collecting non-perishable food items for Philabundance and books for Philadelphia READS. As a bonus, visitors and volunteers will also be able to participate in the Pay-As-You-Wish day. For more info contact Adrienne Whaley at 215-574-0380 x 243 or

20. Team Bayard Philly (Colours HIV Testing)
Colours will be providing HIV testing at the William Way LGBT Community Center. Testing services will be conducted in a private room. All testing is confidential! For more info contact Dolicia Dobbs for more information at 267-977-7951.

Original article by Katie Everett, Founder of Philly Gives – an organization aimed at maximizing positive community impact in Philadelphia by fostering collaboration and generating increased awareness, support and involvement in local charitable efforts. You can connect with Philly Gives by liking them on Facebook, following them on Twitter or e-mailing them at  


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