In the Community
March 5, 2012
Record Number of Kaiser Permanente Workforce Volunteer on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Every year since 2004, number of Kaiser Permanente volunteers has increased
Every year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians unite by the thousands, providing valuable services to their communities to further advance the Kaiser Permanente legacy that parallels Dr. King’s values.
Places like Prescott Elementary in Oakland, Calif., where volunteers refurbished a textbook room that was damaged during a rainstorm while the roof was being repaired. Staff had neither the time nor resources to fix the room.
“It was an absolute disaster and they created a heaven for me,” said Prescott Elementary Principal Enomwoyi Booker. “Everything had been in boxes and was in total disarray. Now, everything is organized beautifully and there’s even a workspace for staff. I show off this room to people every chance I get.”
Kaiser Permanente donated new shelving for the room and when they ran short, one volunteer headed out to purchase more with his own money, Booker said.
“If you look deeply into the fiber of Kaiser Permanente as an organization, you’ll find the amount of volunteerism and the volunteer spirit is alive and well,” said Jack Cochran, MD, executive director, The Permanente Federation, who volunteered at a coat drive in Oakland.
Eight years ago, Kaiser Permanente established an annual day of service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to honor and recognize Dr. King and his advancement of civil and human rights. Every year the number of participants increases, and this year was no exception. An estimated 6,900 volunteers worked on projects in approximately 137 community sites across the country.
Captured in this video, Kaiser Permanente volunteers come together to provide valuable services throughout the nation in honor of Dr. King’s legacy.
Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians volunteered in communities throughout the nine states, and the District of Columbia, served by the health care organization. Among those projects:
- Kaiser Permanente Northwest volunteers plnted 1,000 trees along a creek and wetland corridor in Washington state, in partnership with the Vancouver Watershed Alliance, City of Vancouver and Vancouver School District
- In San Jose, Calif., Kaiser Permanente volunteers helped Ocala Middle School create a new and improved school culture with anti-bullying, health and fitness messages. Volunteers worked on various projects including interior painting in the locker rooms, cafeteria and library, exterior painting of the school building, painting a mural, building new planter beds in the school’s educational garden, and planting native California plants around the school.
- Kaiser Permanente employees in Colorado worked with the Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief & Equipment) to sort medical supplies, paint warehouse walls, build shelving and organize biomedical equipment.
- In Southern California, Kaiser Permanente employees provided health screenings during the San Gabriel Valley NAACP’s Martin Luther King Day Informational Fair held at the West Covina Civic Center.
- Kaiser Permanente employees in Hawaii teamed up with Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Inc., a homeless shelter founded in 1986, to paint the exterior of the emergency and transitional shelters and housing units throughout the center’s 5-acre campus.
- In Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., Kaiser Permanente employees, in partnership with the United Way of the National Capital Area, provided free health screenings.
- In Ohio, Kaiser Permanente employees partnered with Haven of Rest, an organization dedicated to providing palliative care, caregiver support and bereavement services throughout Northern Ohio.
- Employees in Georgia teamed up with Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless, founded in 1971. An international aid organization, Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless aims to rescue, restore and re-stabilize at-risk and homeless individuals and families so they can thrive and become self-sufficient. Kaiser Permanente employees hosted a dinner at the Georgia International Convention Center.
For more about Kaiser Permanente’s efforts in the community year-round, visit: kp.org/communitybenefit.