Because of Inauguration ceremonies planned for the traditional celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Holiday, President Barack Obama called for a national Day of Service for all Americans on Jan. 19.
In Rocky Mount, the Opportunities Industrialization Center and the Rocky Mount Branch of the NAACP joined organizations across America and worked to promote the spirit of service to mankind by hosting a clothes drive and health screening event.
Event organizer, Rosita Wiggins commented that “volunteers from all across the Twin Counties joined with us to encourage our neighbors to share their blessings of abundance and help our neighbors who might not have as much.”
An entire classroom of gently used clothing hung from bulletin boards and were neatly folded and separated into piles by age, size and types.
“It was so exciting to see people eager to give to neighbors that they didn’t know and spread hope and kindness,” said Mae Parker, community organizer and volunteer. “We saw so many people come and pick up shoes, dresses and pants. It brightened their day just a little to know that somebody else cared,” said Jackie King, NAACP Vice President.
Vidant Hospital staff in Greenville donated more than 200 pairs of shoes to the effort.
“OIC and the NAACP wanted to support President Obama’s initiative to foster goodwill and uplift to all Americans,” Reuben Blackwell, Opportunities Industrialization Center President, said. “Health and wellbeing are just as vital as food and shelter. We have been blessed to serve others.
“We are just thankful that our friends rallied and supported our efforts today. We hope that this day will kick off a year of working together to build a better Rocky Mount.”
Andre’ Knight, Rocky Mount Branch president said that, “we also hope that Twin Counties residents will join us in participating in one of the many Martin Luther King, Jr. events during the upcoming week.
“Church services and observances throughout the City remind us of the time that Dr. King visited Rocky Mount and shared his hope and dreams with us.”
Blackwell added, “today it’s time to make the dream come true. We have much to do, but also have been blessed with much to work with.
“And we know that when much is given, much is required.”