The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith program Jumpstart Arkansas mobilized residents to serve this week as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. For 25 years, groups around the nation have served their communities on the MLK holiday, honoring Dr. King’s legacy of leadership and service.
Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, AmeriCorps members focused on Dr. King’s fight against poverty through education, joining with other service agencies in the region including the United Way of Northwest Arkansas and the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas, to distribute financial literacy materials at the Fort Smith 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Parade.
Thirteen members with the UAFS Jumpstart Arkansas program gathered early Monday morning to prepare materials, which they passed out at stations along the parade route. In addition to the financial literacy aids, which provided insight into free tax services, the earned income tax credit, and the Bank of Arkansas program that offers safe and affordable checking accounts, service members also spread the word about the Jumpstart Arkansas program and the service done by the Americorps organization.
A $480 grant from EngageAR and The Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism enabled the service members to not only serve the community during the parade but to also provide the Jumpstart Arkansas partner program classrooms with books on financial literacy for 60 preschool children in Arkansas Better Chance for School Success classrooms.
The Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism is a bipartisan commission made up of passionate commissioners who believe that volunteers are vital to creating strong, vibrant communities. Each commissioner is appointed by the Governor, and together they assist EngageAR with determining community needs, setting policy and program priorities, ensuring national service funds are used effectively, supporting national days of service, and promoting national service and volunteering throughout their communities.