In honor of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and in the spirit of giving back to our local communities, ONYX, our Employee Resource Group representing Blacks United in Leadership and Development, worked with Partners in Time to coordinate a first-ever companywide MLK Day of Service, which took place on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.
More than 400 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s Associates volunteered 1,400 hours of community service across the nation, bringing along friends, children, and other family members. Community projects ranged from serving meals at soup kitchens like CEO Jeff Gennette did in Harlem, NY, with ONYX leaders and other Associates (shown above in featured photo) to children’s empowerment workshops to packing hygiene kits to clothing drives, and more. In addition, 225 Associates participated in local MLK Day events, honoring Dr. King’s mission through powerful marches or speaking events.
The idea for a companywide Day of Service initially came to life when ONYX co-lead Wilberte Paul, senior manager, special events, mentioned it during an introductory meeting with CEO Jeff Gennette. From there, Wilberte says “the idea spiraled into this major companywide initiative. I hope this is something Macy’s will continue to do. Yesterday made me very proud to work for an organization that truly believes in giving back and supporting the community.”
Macy's hosted service projects in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Tempe, and Tulsa. We asked Associates across the country who participated in the Day of Service:
“Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. through a day of service provides an opportunity not just for reflection, but for action. I recognize that big change starts small and only happens once we each do our part to donate our time, talent and treasure toward serving others. Thank you Macy’s, for providing a space for me to do just that.”
Lauren (bottom row, third from right) and other Cincinnati volunteers pose with the personal care packages they’ve assembled for distribution in Cincinnati.
“On this day of service, I carry on Dr. King’s legacy and help the community in which I belong. On this day, I reflect upon the trials and tribulations that Dr. King endured in order for us to live out our dreams. On this day, we reflect as a nation on how far we have come and how much further we have to go in fulfilling Dr. King’s vision. On this day, we come together as one to serve all mankind.”
Tanasia designs a bag for one of the many snack packs she put together for local children through United Way.
“MLK Day of Service was a great way for me to play a part in bettering the lives of fellow New Yorkers. This city has so many families and individuals in need of support. I love the fact that this project focused on such an important skill in life: literacy.
This year, Bloomingdale’s had the event on-site, which made it possible for the majority of our team to participate. Volunteering together made it all the more special!”
Kate (top row, second from right) and her fellow volunteers show off the literacy kits they assembled for underserved children in NYC.
“To me, the MLK Day of Service signifies the importance of being selfless. I come from humble beginnings and through my family’s selfless efforts, I was able to become a first-generation college graduate who now proudly works for an amazing company. Dr. Martin Luther King’s selfless acts not only unified the nation through speech, but also worked to end segregation in public spaces and discrimination in voting. I hope to positively contribute to my community in honor of Mr. King’s legacy through this day of service.”
Yvenique spent her morning preparing hygiene kits at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Harlem, NY.
“People are busy and they do not realize that just an hour or two of their time makes such a difference. On our own, we may not have much time to give, but coming together as a group, we can really change this country as Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed.”
Daniel (bottom left) and the LA volunteers pose for a group photo after completing a school beautification project, which included stenciling artwork on classroom doors.
“Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’
Having an opportunity to unite, fellowship and serve with like-minded people from all different backgrounds was a marvelous reminder that a lot of people continue to believe, support and live the dream that Dr. King espoused so many years ago.”
Cleveland and Macy’s Associates Bianca Isaac (middle) and Alicia Johnson (far right) smile from the 32nd annual Arizona MLK Day March, which Cleveland participated in after helping to pack 1,150 emergency food boxes at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.
“To me, MLK Day is a reminder of our responsibility to serve our community. This year, it also meant uniting local technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and showing our community that diversity and inclusion are important to us!”
Rachel and other Macy’s volunteers managed the registration of participants at the annual Northern California MLK Day March.
New York City volunteers spent more than 420 hours at Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Volunteer projects included working with children and seniors, cooking and serving meals in the food kitchen, creating and distributing hygiene kits, managing the clothing closet, and more. Check out some highlights from NYC below:
(Shown above in featured photo) CEO Jeff Gennette spent the morning volunteering at a soup kitchen in Harlem, NY with ONYX leaders and other Associates.