September 10 Is Desmond Meade Day
Editor in Chief
Saturday, September 9, 2023
Courtesy Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Meade: "Anybody can be influential if they commit to giving back to their community."
Sunday, Sept. 10 is Desmond Meade Day, established by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings in 2019 in honor of the Nobel Prize-nominated activist who helped pass Amendment 4 to restore voting rights to Florida’s formerly convicted felons.
It’s a day of community service. Meade and members of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) will be serving meals to the homeless at Christian Service Center in downtown Orlando from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The FRRC is working to have the Christian Service Center designated as a voting location.
“Community service has been a winning lottery ticket out of a life of addiction and homelessness for me,” Meade said in a Friday press statement. “More than that, it has been a beacon of hope, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. So after [Amendment 4] became law and the Orange County government designated Sept. 10 as Desmond Meade Day, I knew it should be celebrated each year by building up hope and resilience in others. I envisioned it as a day of service.”
Here are some ways to participate in this day of service: Pick up trash in your community. Donate clothing you no longer wear. Grab groceries for someone who can’t get to the supermarket. Give blood. Start a “pay it forward” chain. Phone bank for a cause. Perform a random act of kindness. Sign up to be a poll worker. Volunteer with nonpartisan organizations that expand voting access, like Equal Ground or League of Women Voters of Orange County. Contribute shelf-stable food and hygiene items to a local food bank. Volunteer with a nonprofit.
"Anybody can be influential if they commit to giving back to their community and leading with love––that is what Desmond Meade Day is all about,” Meade said.