Volunteer event celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, helps kids in need

Imagine hosting a volunteer event for your organization where so many people sign up, there isn’t enough space to hold them all. That’s just what happened when volunteers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) partnered with World Vision on January 12 to pack 2,100 hygiene kits in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

 More than 400 members of the IMF, including staff and retirees, turned out for the event held in Washington, D.C.. Organizers had to divide the volunteers into two shifts since there was no facility large enough to accommodate everyone at the same time.

 The IMF, a global institution of 189 countries based in Washington D.C., works to foster the economic well-being of people in its member countries. Miriam Camino-Wolosky who works on the IMF Giving Together program that guides the organization’s humanitarian outreach efforts, says “Volunteers were very moved by the fact that we would be able to help concretely the homeless neighbors in metro D.C. as well as the Haitian victims of Hurricane Matthew through packing and distributing the hygiene kits.”

“Volunteers were very moved by the fact that we would be able to help concretely the homeless neighbors in metro D.C. as well as the Haitian victims of Hurricane Matthew through packing and distributing the hygiene kits.” —Miriam Camino-Wolosky

 She first learned about World Vision during a department retreat in 2015 when she helped pack kits for people in African countries affected by Ebola.

 The IMF chose to partner with World Vision again—this time on a much larger scale—because the opportunity was an impactful way for IMF members to serve their own local community, as well as make a difference for those affected by a natural disaster far away.

 In addition to packing kits filled with personal care items such as toiletries, washcloths, and soap, the volunteers were also able to write notes to share hope with kit recipients. This personal touch had a huge impact on the volunteers. 

The IMF Giving Together team plans to recommend the volunteer opportunity to colleagues who constantly ask for ideas for departmental retreats, saying the event was not only “seamless,” but also meaningful for everyone involved.

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