KANSAS CITY — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on Martin Luther King Day to serve their neighbors and their communities.
In that spirit, students from Avila University and Donnelly College spent the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, Jan. 21 at Jerusalem Farm near downtown Kansas City, in a day of giving back to the community. Jerusalem Farm, sponsored by Avila University, strives to transform the lives of others through service retreats, sustainable living and home repair for the elderly poor and others in need.
Dr. King also said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
The students put away worries about tests and papers to lend a hand in the community.
Participants began the day with prayer. Some of the students and faculty members assisted a family with a home-improvement project, while others cleared and prepared an open lot for use as a community garden.
America Macias, a student at Donnelly and a St. Anthony parishioner, enjoyed the work. “On Jan. 21, I had the opportunity to volunteer,” she said, “at Jerusalem Farm on Martin Luther King Day. I helped clear some space where the garden in the Northeast will be located. I was happy to be volunteering and meeting other students from Donnelly and from Avila University. I was very happy to be helping my own community since I live in the Northeast. I think it’s wonderful that there will be a community garden, which is a great way of raising consciousness of healthy eating and fresh produce. My family has already started planning to grow our own produce this spring.”
The day of service concluded with a brief time of reflection.