A call to serve in York City on MLK Day

Posted on: January 19th, 2013 by John Ellis

By EYANA ADAH McMILLAN 505-5438 / @ydfeatures (See the original article on YorkDispatch.com)

Six years ago, LaShay Stevens was a first-time volunteer at the annual Martin Luther King Day of Service program organized by local Crispus Attucks Community Center.

Now she is the event’s chairwoman.

Stevens, 31, said she expects about 150 people of all ages to participate in the day of service on Monday, Jan. 21, the national holiday for King, a civil rights leader who was born Jan. 15, 1929, and assassinated April 4, 1968.

The King Day of Service program begins with a free breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at Crispus Attucks, 605 S. Duke St. in York City.

“The event will be catered towards the youth,” Stevens said. “We will have speakers, youth reciting poetry and Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and a praise dance performance by a group of local students.”

Then at 10 a.m., attendees will head out into the community to do volunteer projects, including a neighborhood cleanup around the center, a book read and giveaway for children, painting garages with the Salem Square Neighborhood Association and helping Crispus Attucks staff with game-day activities for youth at the center.

MLK Day Downtown York

“To be of service is what Mr. King was trying to get people to do … to come together and take part in the community,” Stevens said.  Volunteers are invited to return to the center at noon to receive free bagged lunches and to close the day’s events with a brief prayer, Stevens said. The day of service ends at 1 p.m.

Changed her life: Stevens said that becoming a King Day volunteer was a life-changing experience.

“After the first time I came to volunteer, I knew I had to be part of it again, to be of service to the community,” she said. “It encouraged me to (volunteer) throughout the rest of the year.”

Stevens became a volunteer with Crispus Attucks Rising Stars Youth and Family program, which provides after-school and summer programs, life skills classes, recreation activities and community service opportunities.

She now works in Crispus Attucks’ employment and training department and is a case manager for the Education Leading to Employment and Career Training (ELECT) program.

Stevens said she sees how the center’s MLK Day of Service is an inspirational experience for others.

“People have energy,” she said. “They’re kind toward one another and they’re ready to go out to serve. A lot of people bring their kids. The feel is a real sense of community.”

– Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.

Martin Luther King Day of Service at Crispus Attucks Community Center begins with a free breakfast program at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the center at 605 S. Duke St. in York City.

Volunteer efforts will be completed throughout the community from 10 a.m. to noon, when the CA will distribute free bagged lunches at its facility.

To volunteer, call LaShay Stevens at 848-3610 or email her at lstevens@crispusattucks.org.

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