NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — For some Hampton Roads residents, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took form in the shape of volunteer work.
The volunteers were out working all across southeastern Newport News on Monday. For them, it was the perfect way to honor the legacy of Dr. King: with a tangible answer to his question of “what are you doing for others?”
It was a day on, not a day off.
“What we’re doing here is trying to make an impact in southeast Newport News,” said Rev. Charles Cheek, with the Peninsula Baptist Association.
Putting words into action to honor Dr. King.
Cheek said, “Dr. King was a man of motion. He was a man that wanted to engage the community.”
Volunteers gathered Monday morning at Zion Baptist Church. From there, they got to work.
“I enjoy just getting to know other people that are out here wanting to love on this community,” said volunteer Christina Porter. It was her second year joining the Peninsula Baptist Association for their annual day of service.
Porter said, “I want to be part of bringing change and bringing restoration to this community that needs hope and needs love.” She worked to rebuild the community garden at Marshall Early Learning Center, joined by volunteers from “The Mission Continues.”
“We’re focusing on the core values of Dr. Martin Luther King of education, selflessness,” said Renee Foster, with The Mission Continues.
The veterans organization teamed up with the Peninsula Baptist Association to make some changes to the school, like a new reading loft and a sensory room.
Foster said, “Service is what brings the community together as a whole, you have to be willing to give back and put in an effort into your community to make your community better, and that’s done through service.”
Other volunteers worked at “Operation Breaking Through,” while another group went door-to-door, meeting people in the nearby neighborhoods.
“We’re hoping people are not seeing it as an event, but seeing it as a movement, a change in the community,” said Cheek.
They are making steps toward making change, while honoring the legacy of Dr. King.