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Meet the Parry Family


CityYearMilwaukee_MLKDay_McKean-46 (1)
Ben, Zach and Jason Parry participating in City Year Milwaukee’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (2020).

On Monday, January 20th, more than 400 volunteers joined City Year Milwaukee for a day of service at Lancaster Public School to honor the teachings and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

For the past ten years, City Year Milwaukee has collaborated with Milwaukee Public Schools to engage the community in service projects that brighten educational spaces for students and communities, including painting inspirational quotes and murals to inspire students throughout the school year. While City Year staff and AmeriCorps members are excited to meet new volunteers each year, there is something special about welcoming volunteers back year after year, who continue to give back to Milwaukee in a big way.

Meet the Parry Family:

Jason Parry and his family joined City Year Milwaukee for their ninth Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. service day this year. Service is a value deeply ingrained in the Parry family, who can be found participating in acts of service yearlong, but there is something special about serving on MLK Day together.

For Ben (14) and Zach (12), they enjoy serving with City Year Milwaukee on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day because painting murals is fun, and it gives them the opportunity to meet new people.

Parry Family, service day
Jason and Ben at their first City Year Milwaukee, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of service in 2012.

For Jason, he enjoys seeing familiar faces (City Year staff, alumni, and other volunteers) who come back year after year and see the value in coming together as a community to complete service projects. The Parry family has found that participating in this day of service is a great way to honor King’s legacy and give back to the community.

At City Year Milwaukee, we say that MLK Day is “a day on, not a day off,” and Ben agrees! He says that “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not have days off. He was always working to make the world a better place,” and it is important that we honor the work he did during his lifetime.”

Serving together on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has become a family tradition Jason, Ben and Zach look forward to year after year.

“Eight years ago, when we first did this, the staff at City Year were welcoming to me and a six-year-old who had an interest in volunteering. The sense of community, hospitality and energy around doing something that’s not about us, that’s what brings us back every year.,” -Jason Parry

To see more photos from the event, please visit our City Year Milwaukee photography page.

Were you unable to volunteer at this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service? Consider donating to our Civic Engagement Wishlist that will support service days at our site yearlong

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