MLK Day events in N.W. Philly

This Monday marks the 25th anniversary of the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In memory of one of America’s great civil-rights activists, many Americans give a day of service to their communities. Here is a list of service events taking place this weekend in Northwest Philadelphia:

Sunday, Jan. 16

Rev. Isaac Miller speaks at FUMCOG

Time: 11 a.m.

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Location: First United Methodist Church of Germantown – 6001 Germantown Ave.

Father Miller, long-time rector at the Episcopal Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia, will be the preacher at FUMCOG’s observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A graduate of Morehouse College, as was Dr. King, and the Episcopal Divinity School, Father Miller was a teaching fellow at the International College in Beirut, Lebanon; chaplain at the Atlanta University Center and Rector at Decatur Georgia’s Episcopal Church. The service will have music and liturgies relevant to Dr. King’s life and leadership of the Civil Rights Movement. The 2011 Social and Racial Justice Award will also be presented during the service.

Contact: Rev. C. Richard Cox – 215-836-1233

Monday, Jan. 17

Wissahickon Park Cleanup 

Time: 10 a.m. to noon

Location: Wissahickon Valley Park – Henry Avenue and Wigard Avenue.

Volunteers will help restore and protect this natural lands site in Philadelphia by working in the woods to remove invasive plant species and rescue native trees from invasive vines. This will help the overall health of the forest, improve habitat, water quality and soil stabilization.

Contact: Susannah Beckett – 215-951-0330,

Ceramics at Allen’s Lane Art Center

Time: 9 a.m. to noon

Location: Carpool leaves from Unitarian Society of Germantown at 6511 Lincoln Drive

The Unitarian Society of Germantown will carpool to Allen’s Lane Art Center to make ceramic bowls that will be used for a Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network fundraiser. This project is kid friendly and wheelchair accessible.

Contact: Nancy Dearden – 215-836-1240,

Art projects and letter writing for Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network

Time: 9 a.m. to noon

Location: Unitarian Society of Germantown – 6511 Lincoln Drive

The Unitarian Society of Germantown will have volunteers write letters as well as work on art projects to benefit NPIHN and their affordable housing project. This project is kid friendly and wheelchair accessible.

Contact: Nancy Dearden – 215-836-1240,

Wissahickon Boys & Girls

Time: 9 a.m. to noon

Location: Carpool leaves from Unitarian Society of Germantown at 6511 Lincoln Drive

Volunteers from the Unitarian Society of Germantown and volunteers from the general public will carpool to the Wissahickon Boys & Girls Club to help sanitize toys, clean up and organize. This project is kid friendly.

Contact: Nancy Dearden – 215-836-1240,

Germantown Boys & Girls Club

Time: 9 a.m. to Noon

Location: Unitarian Society of Germantown – 6511 Lincoln Drive

The Unitarian Society of Germantown will be carpooling to the Germantown Boys & Girls Club to help with painting, cleaning up and general organizing. This project is kid friendly.

Contact: Nancy Dearden – 215-836-1240,

Philadelphia READS

Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Metropolitan Bakery & Cafe – 8607 Germantown Ave. 

Philadelphia READS maintains a free Children’s Book Bank for teachers and educational staff from Philadelphia schools, after school programs and pre-k centers. From now through Jan. 17, you can support Philadelphia READS by collecting new and gently used children’s books (pre-k to 8th grade) and school supplies. This project is kid friendly.

Contact: Jim Lilly – 215-753-9001,

Winter Coat Drive

Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Trolley Car Diner – 7619 Germantown Ave.

Be part of the Greater Philadelphia Cares 15th Annual Winter Coat Drive. Individuals may drop off donations of coats to this location now through Jan. 14. Any donations of 10 coats or more must be delivered to the central St. Vincent DePaul warehouse at 901 East Luzerne St., Philadelphia. The warehouse is open from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Contact: Stacy Weeks – 215-564-4544,

Intercultural Mosaics at COSACOSA

Time: 1 to 3 p.m.

Location: COSACOSA – 4427 Main St.

COSACOSA is holding an intercultural mosaic making day in Manayunk.  Families and individuals of all ages and abilities are invited to create small mosaics of sun symbols from around the world. No experience is necessary. The suns will become part of a large-scale mosaic project in South Philadelphia this spring, bridging cultures and strengthening communities through hands-on art and storytelling workshops. This is a kid friendly and wheelchair accessible project.

Contact: 215-385-2254,

Jewish Social Policy Action Network

Time: 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Location: 7763 Old York Road

JSPAN, the NAACP of Cheltenham, and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) are partnering to host this informative event about race and the criminal justice system. An African American former narcotics cop will share his front-line perspectives on the “war on drugs.” Neil Franklin, former Baltimore narcotics cop and current executive director of LEAP, will give a speech which explores the relationship between race and the criminal justice system.

Contact: Brian Gralnick – 267-253-2007,

Towpath Bridge Cleanup

Time: 9 a.m.

Location: Tow Path Bridge at Main & Lock Streets (Behind Manayunk Brewery)

Join volunteers from Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties on the Schuylkill River Trail. Your work will help complete the trail and connect the two counties. Volunteers will work on removing brush, vines and debris from the waterfront area. Parking will be available by the Tow Path Bridge. Drivers should enter the site through the Lower Merion School District Bus Depot at the end of Righters Ferry Road. Signs will be posted directing people to the work site.

Contact: Chris Kingsley – 610-812-8931

Repairing Germantown’s Center in the Park

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Location: Center in the Park – 5818 Germantown Ave. 

A group of student volunteers from Philadelphia University will clean up, paint and make repairs to Germantown’s Center in the Park.


Refurbishing library at Theodore Roosevelt Middle School

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Location: Theodore Roosevelt Middle School – 430 East Washington Lane

A group of student volunteers from Philadelphia University will help refurbish the school’s library. The volunteers will move and attach bookshelves; sort and alphabetize books; and repair, paint and rearrange furniture to make rooms more user-friendly for middle-school students, staff and parents.


Day of service at Penrose Playground

Time: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Location: 1101 Susquehanna Ave. 

Join Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education, the Goodstein Junior Leaders, the Department of Recreation, Temple Community Garden and Youth build for a day of service at Penrose Playground. Projects include building a garden fence, book shelves, computer work station, indoor planter boxes, organizing and gift wrapping donated books and helping clean up the community. Volunteers of all ages are welcome.

Contact: Ben Hirsh – 215-317-0693,

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Suit Drive

Time: Jan. 10 through Jan. 19

Location: DA’s Northwest Community Action Center – 7175 B. Ogontz Ave. 

All gently used items can be dropped off at the district attorney’s Northwest center for disadvantaged men and women of Philadelphia.

Contact: Monique Evans-Wescott –

Health kits for Haiti survivors

Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Location: Germantown High School – 40 East High St. 

Students from Germantown High School will be making health kits for Haiti survivors, writing letters to the military, creating a quilt and working to make the school more beautiful.

Contact: Principal Margaret Mullen Bavwidinsi – 215-951-4004

Chestnut Hill Academy food bank delivery 

Time: 8:30 a.m to Noon

Location: Chestnut Hill Academy – 500 West Willow Grove Ave. 

A group of students from the Chestnut Hill Academy and Springside communities will spend the MLK Day of Service sorting, packing and delivering food to the local food bank. 

Contact: Rick Knox – 215-247-4700

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