Dozens spend MLK Day in service to Shreveport community


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Across Shreveport, dozens of organizations participated in MLK Service Day, a national initiative for millions of Americans to serve their community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Local Blue Cross Blue Shield employees gathered and sorted food for those in need at the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana. Brad Bockhaus is the regional director for sales and marketing with Blue Cross and says 20 volunteers made up “Team Blue.”

“We believe in family and we’re a team at Blue Cross Blue Shield so ‘Team Blue’ is a way for employees to be able to come in on their day off and volunteer to help other families.”

The Foster Grandparent Program provides opportunities for seniors to meet unmet needs and empower them to give back. Neva Jones is the University of Louisiana at Monroe director for the program and says it’s good to see seniors making a difference.

They often volunteer at the food bank and on this day of service donated $500 to the food distributor. Every dollar donated provides $10 worth of meals.

“We looked at the needs and assessed that January is a low shortage after the holidays for food which is why we decided to give a monetary donation,” said Jones.

Shreveport Mayor, Adrian Perkins and members of his office staff volunteered at Providence House, the non-profit shelter housing families with children. He referenced Dr. King while addressing the families and other volunteers before helping load and unload boxes of items.

“My favorite quote he says is ‘It’s cruel to expect a bootless man to pull himself up by the bootstraps,’ and that’s why it’s so symbolic to be at the Providence House this morning.”

At Centenary College, students met up with other volunteers on campus before heading out into the community for a day of service as part of their participation in Dream Week.

Shuttles carried the volunteers to more than a dozen locations, where they did everything from painting buildings and yardwork to loading and organizing supplies, and cleaning.

Dream Week organizer Kaylan Walker says the theme for this year is #ThePowerofWe.

“I think the main goal is getting people to come together. Whether you’re black, white, pink, purple. Getting the whole community together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King.”

Each group encourages continual support and community volunteerism. Not just for MLK Service Day, but throughout the year.

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