On Monday, January 15 – MLK Day – more than 25 Kaiser Permanente Colorado employees volunteered at The Action Center in Lakewood, a human service nonprofit organization offering services to struggling residents of Jefferson County and the homeless.
This local nonprofit provides an immediate response to basic human needs and to promoting pathways to self-sufficiency. Volunteers at The Action Center helped sort food deliveries, stock groceries, and sort clothing.
“This is more than a day off – we like to look at it as a day on,” said Lynette Namba, Kaiser Permanente Colorado senior community health specialist and project lead at The Action Center. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was passionate about giving back to the community through service. We’re pleased we were able to work hand-in-hand with The Action Center to honor Dr. King’s legacy of volunteerism.”
Barbara Penning, Director of Volunteer Programs and Product at The Action Center, thanked the 25 volunteers. “I just have to tell you that, Sharon, our clothing sort team leader, came into her area today and could not believe what she saw. She kept looking to see if the hundreds of bags of donated clothing were moved somewhere and stashed. Sharon kept saying it had never happened before that this many bags were done. She talked about it all day! Please pass it back to your team that they rocked it,” says Penning.
Volunteers across Colorado
But it’s not just Lakewood. More than 550 Kaiser Permanente Colorado physicians and employees volunteered at 30 nonprofit sites throughout the state – from Greeley to Colorado Springs.
Channel 4 News reported on the indoor farming efforts at The Growhaus and highlighted the Balderson family. Julie Balderson is a Kaiser Permanente employee who recruited her husband, son, and two daughters to help at Growhaus, a nonprofit dedicated to food production, food educations, and food distribution. The Baldersons, and other volunteers, cut out material for education about food. Giving back on MLK day for them was a family affair. “ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told us all to help each other and that’s what we believe in doing,” Balderson says.
In Northern Colorado, we had two beneficiaries of our MLK Day of Service projects. Volunteers assembled hygiene kits for the homeless community in Larimer County and collected old calendars and cards to benefit a Memory Care program through the Alzheimer’s Association.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado President Roland Lyon greeted the marchers at the MLK Day “Marade” with our message that we’re here to making lives better for millions of people in America because we believe – like Dr. King did – that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness require total health, and that includes equal access to health care for all.
Learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s volunteer efforts on MLK Jr. Day.