Planting Dreams to Honor Dr. King

January 19, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation,” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., starting his now-famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963.

In Dr. King’s honor, volunteers from Americorps and Hands On Greater Portland joined children at PCRI’s Maya Angelou Community Center to build planter boxes for families at the Maya Angelou complex.

Cassie Russell, PCRI’s Resident Services Coordinator at Maya Angelou Community Center (and also an Americorps Oregon State Service Corps member), organized the day of service; Home Depot, Sherwin Williams and Hands on Greater Portland donated supplies for the event.

The box-building teams started indoors, making rhythm from the scratch-scratch-scratch of their sandpaper and the thump-thump-thump of their hammers.  The percussion of the tools could only be drowned out by the repeated interruptions of laughter.

Once the boxes were built was when the real fun happened:  the kids and adults grabbed their boxes and hustled outside (hey, the sun was actually shining!) where they let loose their creative genius.  Some kids (and adults) went all-or-nothing with the bright colors, while others took a more subtle approach, decorating the boxes with painted flowers and trees.

Once the boxes were painted, the builders stepped back to reflect on Dr. King’s inspiration, their work–and to let the paint dry–over a few slices of pizza.  Check out our photo gallery (and become our fan for more updates!).

What’s next?  As the weather warms up in the coming weeks, it will be time for the families to start their planter gardens with seeds donated by Seeds of Change.  Who knows–maybe a contest will be in order:  I have a dream that one day, we’ll be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our … planter boxes?

Hats off to Dr. King for providing such great inspiration.

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