GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Area communities plan to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Day this year, but the celebrations will be different.
Covid-19 has altered the traditional marches and meetings people have on the holiday.
“Usually every year we start off with a breakfast followed by a speaker and it ends with a service project. This year because of covid 19 we are not able to serve the community breakfast or have a speaker” said Volunteer Center Director for Lowndes County United Way Errolyn Gray.
While many would usually have the day off from work to participate in marches and other special events on the Martin Luther King Holiday, organizers of local events want people to see it as a day on to serve the community.
Gray says they’re planning 2 projects to the community.
“The first project is a food pantry restock drive so we are partnering with, like I said, local food pantries to restock those pantries and it started December 8th and will end on January 18th” said Gray.
The other project focuses on childcare centers and keeping them safe.
” On Martin Luther king day from 12 until 2 we’ll be giving away free cleaning supplies as well as PPE to child care facility workers” said Gray
Though, this MLK Day won’t have large gatherings to celebrate, Gray says the focus on service will remain.
“Covid has not done away with that need it has only exasperated it it has increased the number of those people who need those services and it has deepend the need for those people who are already existing with those needs” said Gray
Columbus isn’t the only city doing things different. Here in West Point, Martin Luther King day event coordinator Anna Jones says they’ll be having a food drive at Davidson Chapel and not marching for the first time in over 30 years.
“Because of covid and all the precautionary measures this year we are not marching; we’re going to have a drive by food drop off at Davidson Chapel on Martin Luther King Drive and we’re going to be getting all the food that is collected to the project homestead food pantry which is located at the Mary Holmes College” said Jones.
She is hoping for a good turnout and plans to keep this event on the agenda each year.
“We thought this year would be a good way to kick it off then we’ll add that to the activities every year to collect food because people are hurting” said Jones
Both coordinators hope service to the community will be the priority for MLK Day this year.
The food drive will take place of the traditional march from 9 a.m until 12 p.m in West Point and coordinators encourage safety this holiday.