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Honoring MLK Jr. through service

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 05:47:15-05

LANSING, Mich. — For many people in Mid-Michigan, honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. meant serving their communities.

In the Lansing area on Monday, volunteers spent their day off being hands-on in their neighborhoods.

"I woke up this morning and I decided that I wasn't going to just lay around on my day off," said volunteer Kim Raiford.

Volunteers planted onions and built garden boxes that will help people grow their own food at the Allen Neighborhood Center.

"We had a much larger turnout than we expected for sure," said Kai Kepski, the Americorps gardening educator at the Allen Neighborhood Center. "We thought maybe 50 people would be here, but I'd estimate there were about 75."

The center operates a greenhouse at Hunter Park, providing fresh food to those who live in Lansing's Eastside Neighborhood.

Egypt Krohn from the Allen Neighborhood Center said, "We have a lot of immigrants and refugees here. We have a wide range of economic status here and a wide range of age here."

"The color of your skin doesn't matter, and so I think taking time out to acknowledge this day and to do service for people who you don't know what they look like really hones in on that point because you don't know who you're helping," said MSU student Cyrelle Wheeler.

One thing all people have in common is the need to do laundry...

The group Cardboard Prophets paid for those in need to wash up to three loads on this "day of service."

One volunteer talked to Fox 47 about the support from the community.

"Somebody just brought in 12 or 14 pizzas and probably 24 pops. We've had people hand us quarters, people bring in laundry detergent and dryer sheets," said volunteer Karen Fox.

So whether it was planting seeds or providing quarters, all of the volunteers put Dr. King's dream into action.

"Martin Luther King was an advocate of doing service for your community among other things, but it's just (as) important that we give back when we're doing whatever it is that we do," Raiford said.

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