Volunteers Give Back for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
This act of service was driven by Monday’s holiday, an answer to the pleas of service and unity of the man the holiday is named after, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Kenneth Means, an engineer for Mississippi Power, says, "It’s not a day off, it’s a day of service, so it’s important that we teach our kids to give back on King’s day."
Stephen Schruff, Biloxi District Manager for Mississippi Power, says, "Today is a day off from work, but we encourage our employees to contribute to their communities and do service projects like this. This is going on throughout our service area from the Coast to Meridian."
Youngsters worked side by side in the Community Garden with the volunteers from Coastal Women for Change. The group adopted the garden back in 2010 and they hope their work will be far reaching, teaching local kids about healthy living and eating habits. While Monday’s project shows King’s dream is alive today, some say we still have a ways to go, and it starts with education. Sharon Hanshaw, Executive Director of Coastal Women for Change, says, "If Martin was here today, he would say, ‘We’ve come a long way because I see the races intermingling, but we’re not doing enough in the schools.’"
While many had the day off of work and school, groups like Mississippi Power and the Coastal Women for Change are working to sow the seeds of racial harmony. Means also says, "It’s important that we take it just one day at a time, and today is a good example of us just teaching our kids how important it is for us to work together."
While the seeds planted Monday will be fully grown by spring, hopefully the seeds of understanding and tolerance will continue to grow for years to come.
Hanshaw closes, "We’re creating that legacy of people to understand that you can do a garden, you can do a project with all nationalities and bring about a change."