HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) — For 14 years, the Central Pennsylvania MLK Day of Service has honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by lending a helping hand to the community. The day of service saw a large turnout as hundreds of volunteers showed up to give back to their community.
“Service is important. It’s a way of just giving back to the community,” said Eileen Jacobs-Crummel, Co-Chair of the Central PA MLK Day of Service. “It’s a way of us all coming together for one common goal, to give back.”
Jacobs-Crummel says the volunteers who showed up today provided fleece blankets for homeless veterans, winter care kits and much more.
“Birthday milestone kits that will be donated to our homeless community. They’ll also have first aid kits, and then they have card-making that will go to pediatric patients in area hospitals. So just a variety of volunteer opportunities for them to give back to the community,” said Jacobs-Crummel.
For many volunteers, giving back is the best way to honor the late Dr. King.
“Martin Luther King, he talked about love – love, love, love, love. And that’s what we need nowadays. Learn to love one another,” said Tonya Corbin-Woolfork. “It’s time for us to stop the bickering and everything else, and just come together,” she added.
For sisters Tonya and Valerie, the day of service is far from a “day off.”
“It’s a day to come out and perform some act of public service,” said Valerie Corbin-Ketchen.
They say today is an opportunity to come together, and that it serves as a reminder to strengthen the legacy that will be left for the next generation.
“We, as adults, we want to leave this place a better place for our families. We need to set an example, and our elected officials need to set an example,” said Corbin-Ketchen.
To this day, progress and history are still being made.
“If you think about the progress that we’ve made as a society, we’ve come so far. And we’re going to make some more progress tomorrow when I’m sworn in as Pennsylvania’s first Black lieutenant governor,” said Democratic Lt. Governor-elect Austin Davis.
Corbin-Ketchen says even though there have been major steps forward, it hasn’t been easy.
“While we certainly have made strides forward, we have made steps backward, and that shouldn’t be happening,” said Corbin-Ketchen. “Together, we’re stronger as a country,” she added.