Center celebrates spirit of MLK

Published 12:45 am Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mt. Calvary Baptist Church hosted Martin Luther King Day activities Monday, including providing a banner for visitors to sign encouraging people to mentor. (Photo submitted)

“Dear friend, you Rock!,” wrote Cadence Kempf, 7. “Ijoee (enjoy) your dirr (dinner). ooooo (hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs) From, Cadence.”

Cadence created several of the 700-plus cards made Monday at the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor YMCA. That is enough cards for every person in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties receiving meals on wheels from Senior Nutrition to receive a card.

YMCA members were invited to make cards as one of several Martin Luther King Day of Service community projects organized by the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan. Groups within the Y will continue to make cards throughout the week with the goal of reaching 1,000 cards.

The Volunteer Center also had activities at the MLK breakfasts at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor and Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Niles. Attendees created a movable graffiti banner to encourage individuals to volunteer as mentors, took posters to distribute through out the community and created cards to thank mentors for their service. In total, more than 300 volunteers participated in MLK Day activities.

As Dr. King said, “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” Anyone interested in learning more about volunteering is encouraged to contact the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan at or call 683-5464 (Niles) or 983-0912 (St. Joseph).

The Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan is a United Way Partner Agency affiliated with the HandsOn Network and Youth Volunteer Corps of America. The MLK Day of Service Activities were part of the Volunteer Michigan initiative sponsored by the Michigan Community Service Commission.