On Jan. 18, I did a little bit to help keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. I participated in Macomb Community College’s 2016 MLK Day celebration, which organizes roughly 400 students and staff members to volunteer work throughout metro Detroit over two days – MLK Day itself, as well as the Saturday preceding the holiday. It’s Macomb Community College’s largest volunteer event and one of the ways we engage with the community beyond our campuses.
My MLK Day started with a brief ceremony on Monday at Macomb’s South Campus in Warren, which featured a special presentation by recent graduate and Sterling Heights resident Camilla Smith, winner of the college’s third annual MLK Day of Service student essay contest.
Also honored was Macomb student Daniel Stephens, 22, of Warren, winner of the college’s first MLK T-shirt design contest. Stephens’ winning design was worn by the volunteers who participated in Macomb’s MLK Day activities.
After the ceremony, I left for the Salvation Army store in Center Line, where I met a local newspaper reporter and photographer who were covering the event. Afterward, I helped fill grab bags with small donated items and did some light work straightening up the men’s clothing department – all under the direction of site leader Mustapha Kah, a health and public services assistant at Macomb. Others from Macomb spent time sweeping, scrubbing, hanging up donated clothes and doing other tasks aimed at keeping the store clean and organized.
Kah, who moved to Michigan from Gambia in 2000 and currently lives in Roseville, has been participating in Macomb Community College’s MLK Day events for at least four years. Even as a student in his home country, Kah said, the work of Martin Luther King Jr. “inspired me a lot,” which made him want to give his time to the community. Kah keeps going back to the Center Line Salvation Army store site because he likes the friendly, diverse crowd he finds there. Also, “they really keep you busy,” he said.
For more about Macomb Community College’s 2016 MLK Day of Service, click here.
James Melton is manager of media relations for Macomb Community College.