Come out to Clarkston and participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service this Monday, January 21st! The Clarkston Development Foundation joins the Clarkston Community Center and local groups and community members as they work together to undertake a day of service work following the spirit and example of the renowned pastor and civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The day will include a number of service opportunities located throughout the Clarkston area. Participants can choose to gather at the Clarkston Community Center, the Clarkston High School, or at the Avalon apartment complex. Each of these sites will have stations for distributing donated rice, books and pots and pans, as well as neighborhood cleaning projects. The Clarkston United Methodist Church will also host a food drive.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by an opening ceremony from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. that will frame the day of service with the perspective of Martin Luther King Jr. as a faith leader. The opening ceremony will include speeches from local leaders about the continued relevance of the principles that grounded Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. Though the speakers will be at the Community Center, there will be an opening ceremony at all three locations.
Clarkston Development Foundation will work alongside the Clarkston Youth Initiative, the Clarkston Community Center, Lutheran Services Georgia, the Lutheran Theological Center in Atlanta and the Clarkston Interfaith Group, a group composed of leaders from many religious traditions to sponsor the service activities available during the Martin Luther King Day of Service.
At each of the locations, volunteers will have the option of several activities, including a book drive, rice sorting, distribution of donated pots and pans, and participation in neighborhood and apartment clean-up efforts. Participants are encouraged to donate a bag of rice of any size, pots, pans, or flatware, or a children’s book.
The Executive Director of the Clarkston Community Center, McKenzie Wren, said that last year over 500 people attended the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, and donated and distributed over 800 pounds of rice. She said she expected a similar if not greater turnout this year.
The Day of Service is an effort that includes many organizations, but inspiration for the event comes from local resident’s commitment to work together in their own community. Many Clarkston residents are taking leadership roles, including Clarkston youth, who will lead three of the clean-up efforts, one at Clarkston High School, one at the Willow Branch Apartments, and one at Brannon Hill.
At Clarkston High School, the International Rescue Committee will also lead an effort to clean a stretch of highway that the IRC has adopted through the Keep DeKalb Beautiful program. This will be the kick-off clean-up of the stretch of Indian Creek Highway between Clarkston High School and the Church Street Marta stop.
For children, there will also be Play and Learn activities available at the Avalon Apartments clean-up site. The Community Center and the United Methodist Church will also have an activity called Story Time, where adults will read stories to children from the recently donated books.
Participants will spend the day engaging in humanitarian activities that reflect King’s concentration on service as a path to social change, but the opening and closing ceremonies will also emphasize his role as a spiritual and religious leader. Organizers will encourage attendees to discuss and discern King’s perspective as a man of faith.
The event’s closing ceremony from 2 p.m to 3 p.m. will include a wall where participants will be encouraged to write and post their experiences during the day of service. Participants will then share in a facilitated group reflection activity that will reinforce the themes of the day.
To register for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5032652800 and sign up for the activity you want to participate in. We hope to see you there!
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