Volunteers at Community Forklift provide assistance to staff members during the MLK Day of Service on Jan. 16. (Lateef Mangum)
Volunteers at Community Forklift provide assistance to staff members during the MLK Day of Service on Jan. 16. (Lateef Mangum)

A nonprofit organization in Prince George’s County continues to push Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of volunteerism.

The Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization, a group that looks to preserve the Riverdale community, held its third annual Day of Service volunteer projects Monday, Jan. 16.

Amanda Knott, a volunteer with CKAR, said King’s holiday brings out the best in people.

“We honor no other individuals … like Martin Luther King,” Knott said. “You don’t find this type of energy where people come together on most holidays.”

About 100 children participated in various activities that included children and teens hanging artwork at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center in North Brentwood.

Those 16 and older assisted staff at Community Forklift in Edmonston to organize antique furniture, tile and used construction materials. The items are distributed to nonprofit organizations and donated to homeowners in need of home improvement.

Participants also were encouraged to donate coats, canned goods and other personal items for local food pantries.

The organization that became established in 2010 also incorporates a database to help and meet business owners under the 20737 zip code.

The local volunteers joined thousands nationwide that celebrated King’s birthday as a national holiday.

In June 2009, first lady Michelle Obama helped launch United We Serve, an initiative for Americans to make community service a part of their lives.

Under the Obama administration, the initiative created an Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation using analytics and other data to identify programs to improve communities.

There’s fear that when the Donald Trump administration moves into the White House this week, it won’t express the same optimism. Trump’s wife, Melania, a former model, will use her platform to combat bullying.

“As a nation, as a town, as a community, we don’t need our leaders to tell us to volunteer, said Chanel Compton, executive director of the Prince George’s museum. “I think [volunteerism] is engrained in our community. We wouldn’t be able to do the programs we do today if it wasn’t for our volunteers.”

For more information, go to www.ckarcdc.org.

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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