Monday, January 19, 2009

Barack Obama Issues A Call To Serve On Dr. Martin Luther King Day & Roosevelt Island's Doctor Resnick Responds With Plan to Help Home Bound Neighbors

You Tube Video of Martin Luther King Day Call to Service by President-elect Barack Obama

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Rather than celebrate Dr. King by taking a relaxing day off from work or school, President- elect Barack Obama challenges Americans with a Call To Serve your community and neighbors. Roosevelt Island's Doctor Jack Resnick has accepted the challenge and sends the following message regarding a new volunteer program he is developing to help the home bound elderly and disabled residents of Roosevelt Island.

Dr. Resnick will explain his plans later tonight (6PM) during an event held by the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association honoring Dr. Martin Luther King being held at Seniors Center (546 Main Street). Dr. Resnick will also talk about his plan on Tuesday prior to the RIOC sponsored viewing of the Presidential Inaugural at the Good Shepherd Community Center. (Main Street WIRE has more here.) According to Dr. Resnick:
We will be introducing a new volunteer service opportunity to Roosevelt Island residents at an MLK Day event at the Senior Center and the next day at the chapel during the RIOC sponsored community inaugural event.

The inspiration for this came from an e-mail from Michelle Obama encouraging people to a Call for Service on those two days and is posted on their web site as an event.

The idea has the support of the leaders of both the Seniors (Dolores Greene) and The Disabled (Virginia Granato) Associations.

The idea -- at this early stage -- is create Independence at Home Volunteers. People would offer their time to help out homebound Roosevelt Island residents. There would be a central clearing house where individuals could request help and offer help. The time people served would generate credits. If some day in the future a volunteer needed assistance, he or she would be able to draw down on those credits. The idea needs a lot of work but I'm hoping that someone will come forward at one of these meetings and offer to spearhead such an organization.
Last week, a new Roosevelt Island resident and reader of this blog wrote in asking:
Hi Roosevelt Islander
I enjoy reading your blog. My wife, son and I are recent arrivals (July 08, Manhattan Park) on the Island, and your blog has been key in staying up to date on Island life.
I'm wondering if you're aware of any volunteer opportunities on the Island for MLK day? Thanks for any thoughts you might have.
At the time I was not aware of Doctor Resick's plan but I suggested:
I am not aware of any volunteer activities on RI specifically for, or on, MLK day but there are Roosevelt Island volunteer opportunities. Take a look at this post on volunteering at Coler Goldwater hospital. I know the Girl Scouts were looking for volunteer leaders and there is a boy scout troop on the Island as well. Also, check out an organization called Orphans International which is HQed on the Island with an office next to the candy store on Main Street.
If you are interested in tutoring/mentoring, I would suggest contacting the Roosevelt Island Youth Center. or the Child/Legacy High School as well as PS/IS 217.
Please let me know if anyone has any other ideas for volunteer opportunities on Roosevelt Island.

More on the Martin Luther King Day Jr. Day of Service.