Say what you want about MLK Day – whether you have it off or on – the day should be about SERVICE. As an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman, the motto we live by is “service to all mankind.” While everyday is a great day to live this belief, there are few better than MLK Day. Martin Luther King lived a life of service. He was the epitome of it. Embodied it. Was it. There are so many things wrong with this world, but the one thing that’s always right is making someone else’s life better. If you pause for a minute to think about the many ways we can accomplish that, you’ll realize how true that is.
Today, NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) Atlanta and Circle of Trust (an ATL networking organization for professionals in the architecture / construction / engineering space) came together for a joint service project at the Truly Living Well Center for Urban Agriculture. It seems to be an urban agriculture place that teaches the community how to grow healthy food – thereby giving significantly disadvantaged “food desert” communities access to organically grown, healthy food (minus the “Whole Foods” pricing). I generally think of a “food desert” as a place where you can’t access adequate healthy food within a mile-ish of your residence.
ATL is full of them. Check out all of the ATL food deserts here.
Today, the Truly Living Well Center probably had more volunteers than they had shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows to handle, but I think that speaks to the strength of humanity in this area. The better idea is to carry this spirit of community and volunteerism into non-popular service days throughout the upcoming year.
I completely believe in an “Urban Farm” for several reasons, but mainly because it gives children in particular the opportunity to have access to healthy vegetables and fruit. Not only that, but it gives them the opportunity to grow it – which makes them more likely to eat it. My nieces and nephews took on a home garden project once with my sister and they loved it so much they actually ATE the vegetables (a monumental step for kids who normally wouldn’t touch the green goodies). That makes today’s project all the more sweeter.
What did you do this MLK Day? In most places I’ve worked before – actually, ALL of the places I’ve worked before – I’ve never gotten the day off as a holiday. I’ve taken it off as a vaca day but it was never granted as one of our corporate holidays. This year, being in entrepreneur-mode, I didn’t have to worry about “requesting” the day off. Kind of felt good to be honest with you. If you didn’t take on a service project this year -not to worry. You’ve got 365+ days to take up the challenge. Dare to care.