MLK Day celebration spotlights service

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published January 16, 2019

 Athens High School student Cameron Stokes speaks during the MLK Day of Service at Athens last year.

Athens High School student Cameron Stokes speaks during the MLK Day of Service at Athens last year.

File photo by Donna Dalziel


TROY — For a third year, the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in Troy will depart from the previous speaker format and will instead be a call to service, which is King’s true legacy, say school and city officials.

“We’re excited the whole community gathers together for a day of service,” said Troy Community Affairs Director Cindy Stewart.

“We are excited to again bring the community together with service projects in the name of Martin Luther King Jr.,” Kerry Birmingham, the director of communications and strategic initiatives for the Troy School District, said via email. “Everyone in our community is invited to participate — all they have to do is show up at Athens High School. In the meantime, we are looking for donations of fleece and items for the troops. There is information on our website, and donations can be dropped off at any school or our Central Administration Building. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support this Day of Service brings every year.”

The Troy School District and the city of Troy will hold the MLK Day of Service 8:30-11:30 a.m. Jan. 21  in the auditorium of Athens High School, 4333 John R Road.

The service activities include:

• Assembling care packages for  members of the military now serving in the Middle East.

• Making no-sew fleece blankets for children, veterans and cancer patients at local hospitals.

• Donating blood at an American Red Cross blood drive and signing up for the bone marrow registry.

Donations of materials are needed in advance of the event, including fleece in 2.5-yard pieces;  5 or 10 yards of the material would work well. Each blanket consists of two pieces of fleece, usually one solid and one printed, but all donations of the appropriate size are welcome.

Organizers are looking for donations of the following items for the troops:

• White or black socks suitable for combat boots.

• Foot powder.

• Candy and gum.

• Beef jerky.

• Sunflower seeds or nuts.

• Wet wipes.

• Energy bars and granola bars.

• Coffee and tea.

• Sunblock.

• Lip balm.

• Small Michigan- or Detroit-based sports items, like Nerf balls, pennants, T-shirts and bandanas.

Aerosol products, shaving cream, hair spray and products containing alcohol, like mouthwash and hand sanitizer, cannot be accepted.

Items can be dropped off until Jan. 18 in the Community Affairs Office at Troy City Hall, 500 W. Big Beaver Road, during business hours and at any school in the Troy School District or at the Troy School District Administration Building, 4400 Livernois Road.

People can make an appointment for the blood drive at; use sponsor code “troyathens.”