Historic sites and museums to host collection of donated items for local charities in honor of MLK Jr. Day of Service

By Jennifer Bowman, Volunteer Coordinator

As we approach the beginning of a new year, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is renewing its commitment to diversifying access and points of view in every step taken to preserve, restore, ethically research and interpret Delaware’s unique histories and sites. The Division truly is committed to enhancing Delaware’s quality of life by helping people connect with those aspects of our past that have made this state what it is today.

Reflecting on the immense dedication of King to lead the call for civil rights in the mid-20th century by speaking out against injustice and systems of oppression and demanding full and equal rights for all people regardless of race, religion or other characteristics, it’s clear that his extraordinary service to the world was a deeply needed call to action on a long, rough road that we are still walking today. Service is an act of care, and one that hopefully inspires communities to work together to share time, resources and respect. 

Photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with quote, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'what are you doing for others'."

With service in mind, we hope you take some time to join a local community service effort, however you can, whether it be volunteering at state historical sites, local shelters, donation centers or one of the many other causes across Delaware. On the heels of vast challenges posed by the pandemic, as we navigate the necessary changes to our daily lives, there are many across the First State who could use a helping hand.   

Starting in January, to encourage community participation and service, the Division is offering collection spaces for the donation of food, toiletries and coats for Code Purple shelters and the Delaware Food Bank, with collection boxes at the following locations:  

Meanwhile, pet food, bedding and towels for the ASPCA and Brandywine Valley SPCA will be collected by the Johnson Victrola Museum at 375 S. New St. Dover.

Please deliver donations during each museum’s operating hours, available online at the links above.

The Division will sort and deliver the donations and will share updates on social media throughout the month. Historians and Division staff members will also participate in service project days throughout the month to give back to Delaware communities through cleanups at local beaches and historic sites. Stay tuned for more to come in the New Year!