Martin Luther King Day of Service is in Full Effect in Williamsport

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WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY(WBRE/WYOU-TV) – Many people spent this Martin Luther King, Junior holiday serving their community.

Hundreds of dedicated volunteers spent their monday morning and afternoon at a local college in Lycoming county, paying tribute to Dr. King.

“I was off today actually relaxing so I said, ‘you know what? I’ll do it’,” said Renee Alston of Williamsport.

More than 200 helping hands worked hard to pack these meals up for families in need across Lycoming County.

“We’re having a lot of fun here on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but it’s actually really serious work,” said Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Joe Arthur.

“Oh my gosh, I think it’s incredible to give back. I think it’s really important to give back to your community and to meet other people that have the same ideas,” said Volunteer with STEP Americorps, Ellen Williams.

From apples to hot bowls of chili, the “More Than a Meal” packing event is an initiative to help tackle local problems and advance Dr. King’s dream of opportunity for all.

“In the earlier stages of our ancestors and our grandparents and the parents before them, they couldn’t do these things..so now that we’re able to do this we got to grab hold of it. It’s another way for us to come together,” said Volunteer with STEP Americorps, Odren Polk.

Odren Polk is a volunteer with “STEP Americorps”.

He tells me it’s a blessing to be able to give back, after going through trials and tribulations himself.

“I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do something not only just work a regular nine to five, I wanted to make a difference in my community and my neighborhood,” said Polk.

Students say it was a no brainer to volunteer on an “off” day.

“We all think it’s a good committment to us, like get out there and give back to the community,” said Sophomore at Penn College, Jared Money.

And for those who weren’t off – they still made the time.

“We actually have class I have class in like five minutes,” said Senior at Lycoming College, Louise Okyne.

Louise Okyne is a senior at Lycoming College.

She sats all though we have all year long to give back, Martin Luther King Day is a bit more special.

“It’s a time put aside to be able to think and reflect on morals and values that are instilled in us on a daily basis and being able to let our light shine,” said Okyne.

At least five thousand pounds of food was packed up at the More Than a Meal Event.

The meal kits will be given to area families who struggle with hunger.

The day of service is part of “Dream Week”, a series of events in Williamsport centered around Martin Luther King Day which began on Saturday.

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