Friday, September 30, 2022

What Is Your Dream?

Kelly Graeber
Kelly Graeber

I Have a Dream for My Community: What is Yours?

By Kelly Shannon Graeber, Director, Volunteer Oxford

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day of Service to serve their neighbors and communities.

Lafayette-Oxford-University community partners have banded together once again this year for a common mission: to host a community-wide event and service opportunities that will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The planned Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service will be a “day on, not a day off” and a National Day of Service highlighted through what has become an annual community event.

The community event is in its second year, and this year Dr. King’s legacy will be celebrated at the Oxford Activity Center on Monday, January 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants can enjoy this free community event promising fun through a MLK Reading Corner, MLK Trivia & Civil Rights History Nook, an “I Have a Dream” Poster Station, arts and crafts, kid-friendly games and more.

At 10 a.m. the National Day of Service will kick-off with a MLK Day General Assembly with guest speaker Dr. Marvin King from the University of Mississippi, a video presentation (title here) by the University of Mississippi/MSU VISTA Programs with activities starting around 10:30 a.m.

Community partners Volunteer Oxford, the University of Mississippi’s McLean Institute, the Office of the Dean of Students/Volunteer Services at the University of Mississippi, the United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County and the Oxford Park Commission encourage the public to enjoy a day of fun while learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King once said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” Many volunteers will be on-hand during this national day of service acting as true examples of the service that Dr. King speaks of in his quote.

While the event is free to the public, those attending are encouraged to bring a donated item such as toiletries, household supplies, cleaning supplies, office and school supplies, and kids’ games (board games, soccer balls, jump ropes). These donated items will help local non-profits whose missions are in line with what Dr. King believed in: helping those in poverty, educating our nation’s youth and equipping our community with the tools and resources they need to overcome adversity. Those benefitting from the day of service include Doors of Hope, the Boys & Girls Club of Oxford and Excel by 5.

Not familiar with these organizations? Doors of Hope Transition Ministries guides homeless families toward self-reliance and stability. The Boys and Girls Club enables young people to reach their full potential as respectful, caring citizens. Excel by 5 is a community-based certification designed to improve a child’s overall well-being by age five encouraging the important role the community plays in a child’s development. You can also easily find out more information about these organizations and more on the Volunteer Oxford website, www.volunteeroxford.org, and click on “Find Agencies.

”Dr. King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

So, are you going to be silent about things that matter to you in your community or let your voice be heard? Why be quiet about a community you care about. Make some noise, become engaged, get involved and join us for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday at the Oxford Activity Center.

You can participate in the day of service or stop by to find out more about local non-profits that are making a difference in our community. You’d be surprised what goes on around you, the social issues that are ever present here in our own community. Let’s not use this day as another day off of work or a day out of school, but rather a day in which we take action and be the voice for those who might not have one.

I have a dream for my community: one in which we join together and tackle social issues of our time and collectively leave a legacy of service with the generations who will follow in our footsteps.

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