The Arc of Kent County

for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

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Lunch Time Workshops are available in 2018!

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January 2018

Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day of Service 2018

Two Mayors Kick Off Day of Service on MLK Day at UCOM

Grand Rapids, Jan. 3 2017—

United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM) and The Arc Kent County today announced a kickoff event for the 2018 MLK Day of Service. On January 15, as part of a grant awarded by The Arc of US, UCOM will be hosting a service project for 20+ volunteers. Community members from different races, ethnicities, religions, and abilities are invited to come together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by making MLK Day “a day on, not a day off.”


Headlining the event are Mayor Steve Maas of Grandville and Mayor Jack Poll of Wyoming. The Kick-off begins with a short program from 9-9:45 the morning of January 15. Community leaders will offer a “word of the day” to volunteers and then they will present a 15-minute video of Dr. King. After a brief orientation, volunteers will be invited to choose a couple of important tasks to which they will dedicate a 2, 4, or 6-hour shift to provide access to nutritious food for 200 local people.

According to the Rev. Robyn Saylor, a long-time UCOM volunteer and one of the speakers for the event, “UCOM is a place where everyone is welcome to be of service. I love volunteering at UCOM because here I am recognized for my abilities, not my disability.”

Other 5-minute motivational speakers for the morning are Lucia Rios, Disability Network/Lakeshore and a contributing writer for Women’s Lifestyles magazine; Emily Schichtel, Kentwood City Council and Heart of West Michigan United Way; Rev. Justo Gonzalez II, Southwest Conference Minister / Latinx Ministry Conference Coordinator at Michigan Conference, United Church of Christ; Rebecca Rynbrandt Director of Community Services for the City of Wyoming; and Brenda Brame of the Kent County Tax Credit Coaltion (KCTCC).

The key resource center for southwestern Kent County, UCOM invests in the residents of Wyoming, Grandville, and southwest Grand Rapids by providing material and educational support and pathways to economic security to those in need. In addition to its other services, UCOM’s Client Choice Food Pantry serves nearly 8,000 individuals each year with a focus on providing healthy and nutritious foods. For more information visit

The Arc began in 1950 when five families in Kent County joined forces to create a child care cooperative for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For the past 68 years, The Arc has worked with other proven organizations in West Michigan to ensure that all people realize their dreams of having employment, education and meaningful relationships while living independently within their community. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook – and Twitter –