Despite bitter cold, 1,500 meals delivered on MLK Day of Service

Local News

The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is a “Day ON, Not a Day Off” for many people.

As such, volunteers looking to serve delivered nearly 1,500 meals Monday.

Lifecare Alliance relied on dozens of volunteers to get Meals on Wheels to hundreds of people all over Columbus in the bitter cold.

In some ways, Monday was just like any other day at Lifecare Alliance; meals were packed, routes were organized, and volunteers showed up to service them.

However, Monday was not just any other day; it was the MLK Day of Service and for the second year in a row Jack and Jill of America’s Columbus Chapter took the lead making up the bulk of the 150 volunteers who showed up.

“It’s special to our children because they get an opportunity to, if you will, be boots on the ground, right, and be actively participating in service,” said Jami Ervin, President of the Columbus chapter.

Jack and Jill of America Inc. teaches young people leadership and philanthropy. Shari Hicks-Graham participated as a kid and now has her children involved.

“Just knowing that we’re serving the community that I also grew up in, it means a lot to me to be able to give back to the community that’s given our family so much,” said Hicks-Graham.

Monday the Hicks-Graham and Ervin families teamed up to deliver meals to several families on the near east side of Columbus. One of the people they visited was Donna Breece who says Meals on Wheels has been a lifesaver for her.

“Oh, it’s great, they’re wonderful people,” said Breece. “They really help out.”

With the streets still slightly treacherous from the snow storm a few days prior and temperatures that felt like they were below zero when the wind was blowing, the adults had one goal Monday. They wanted to put into practice what their faith teaches and be an example for their children.

“My favorite part about all this is just being able to show the importance of service to people who are young and who are just trying to figure out the way that the world works,” said Hicks-Graham.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered for many things, often his impact on the fight for civil rights is chief among them.

Ervin says tying MLK to civil rights first is critical because it is not until African Americans are valued as citizens that they can feel they are giving back to a community.

In the car on our way to the first stop Ervin ministered specifically to the children examining a portion of the Book of John and why service is so important to her family. She focused on John chapter 13 verses 34 and 35.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)

On a day dedicated the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the scripture epitomizes much of what he preached.

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