Coe College, Non-Profit Working Together to Serve Veterans

November 11, 2016

Helping veterans in need is the focus of an upcoming service project that will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This January, students at Coe College will partner with the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter in Cedar Rapids to provide food, financial literacy education, and emotional support to veterans.

The project will be partially funded by an MLK Day of Service grant, which was awarded by Iowa Campus Compact (IACC) in October.

“Knowing everything that MLK Jr. stood for made the challenge of doing something above and beyond that much more important,” says Holli Erkon, volunteer coordinator at the shelter. “Bringing a college and a non-profit organization together to help those that need it most is something MLK Jr. would be proud of.”

The event, which will be held at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, will include a free lunch and opportunity for the veterans to socialize.

Volunteers will prepare gift bags for the attendees that will include:

  • Shampoo, conditioner, and body soap
  • A bus ticket and gas voucher
  • Can openers and spatulas
  • Eating utensils

Coe College is one of 40 institutions awarded a 2016-17 MLK Day of Service grant. Learn more about the project.

“I could not be more honored to have had the opportunity to apply for this grant, to receive it, and be able to work together with a group of people that genuinely care about the welfare of all human beings,” says Erkon.

Coe College has partnered with the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter numerous times to serve people experiencing homelessness.

The purpose of the MLK Day Community Partnership Project is to mobilize college students, community members and community organizations to observe MLK Day not as a “day off,” but as a “day on”.

“Iowa Campus Compact is excited and thrilled to fund this year’s MLK Day of Service projects, which value civic learning on the same level as community impact,” says Justin Ellis, assistant director of IACC and manager of the MLK Day of Service grants.

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