Jumpstart Partners with Habitat for Humanity for Annual Day of Service

January 13, 2006 — On Monday, Jan. 16, the Jumpstart program at the University of Virginia will partner with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville for a day of service in honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Teams of local AmeriCorps volunteers from both programs will frame two houses in the Sunrise Trailer Park in the Belmont area of Charlottesville.

“Each year, AmeriCorps members are encouraged to serve on this day, undertaking a project that reflects Dr. King’s dream of a more equitable and just society,” said Hudson Heatley, director of the Virginia Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps program. “Habitat for Humanity’s goal of eliminating substandard housing for families everywhere helps make King’s dream a reality.”

Jumpstart members, who serve as literacy mentors in city and county preschools, teamed up with the Habitat for Humanity volunteers to demonstrate the need for partnership among the diverse service organizations in the Charlottesville community. According to Jumpstart Site Manager Sarah Rude, “We know how important it is to go beyond our regular service mission to be an asset to the community at large. Beyond mentoring students in the schools or building homes for families, we want to contribute to a stronger community that will support our children and neighbors.”

Members of both groups, who serve the community yearlong as AmeriCorps volunteers, will participate in the Jan. 16 service day to expand their ongoing service experience into special community projects. Volunteers will work on the project from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the event will include a midday reflection on Dr. King and how his legacy applies to volunteers working for the betterment of the Charlottesville community today.

This service project is one of hundreds of activities that states and cities are organizing to honor the legacy of Dr. King. Five years ago, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, directing the King Center and the Corporation for National and Community Service to carry out a day of service reflecting Dr. King’s life and teachings.

About Jumpstart

A national nonprofit organization, Jumpstart places achievement-oriented college students to serve one-to-one in yearlong mentoring relationships with 3- to 5-year-old children in Head Start and other early education programs. In Charlottesville, 46 U.Va. students serve as Jumpstart Corps Members, spending 10 to 15 hours a week with children in four local preschool programs and helping them develop early language, literacy and social skills. U.Va. is one of 66 institutions of higher education partnering with Jumpstart to serve their local communities.
For more information, contact Sarah Rude, site manager for Jumpstart Charlottesville, by phone at (434) 924-7920 (office); (601) 454-3904 (cell); or by e-mail at jumpstart@virginia.edu.

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity, a worldwide nonprofit organization made famous by the involvement of former President Jimmy Carter, helps solve the problem of substandard housing, one family at a time.  Habitat volunteers work side-by-side with Habitat homeowners, who themselves invest hundreds of hours of their own labor — “sweat equity” — into building their own houses and the homes of fellow partner families. Greater Charlottesville HFH has built houses in the city of Charlottesville and in Albemarle County. For more information, contact Hudson Heatley at (434) 295-1893 or hheatley@hfhi.org.