AKAs give back on MLK Jr. Day

AKAs give back on MLK Jr. Day
January 21
00:00 2016
Photo by Todd Luck
Thousands of donated articles of clothing filled the gym during the Martin Luther King Day event.

By Todd Luck

The Chronicle

The Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. fed, clothed and educated the community on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Carl Russell Recreation Center.

For the second year in a row, the Phi Omega Chapter held the large community event. Last year it was in the community center of Ivy Arms, an affordable apartment complex the chapter owns. It filled the community center to capacity with attendees and volunteers, so this year a bigger venue was chosen.

The chapter is active in the community year-round and regularly does a day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“We’re about service and we want to give back and we all strive to make this a better place for everybody,” said event co-chair Carolyn Parker.

The Phi Omega Chapter still maintains its tradition of helping clean up Odd Fellows Cemetery, a historic black cemetery, during the morning of MLK Day. In the afternoon they turned to the recreation center, which would normally be closed for the holiday, into a one-stop shop for giving.

“We kind of get a little bit of everything we do as a sorority,” said chapter President Kenyetta Richmond of the event.

The gym was filled with thousands of articles of donated clothing. There were also tables and chairs so attendees could sit and eat the wide variety of free hot soups prepared and served by volunteers. There was even a table where volunteers helped with voter registration in the gym’s corner.

In another room, there was a presentation on how parents can help their children succeed in school by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Beverly Emory, Chief Academic Officer Kenneth Simington, Mathematics Program Manager Velvet Simington and Language/Arts Program Manager Janie Costello.

There was a new children’s area this year in the center’s recreation room. Led by Chanel James and Dayna Gury of The Speech Bus, children did King-themed art activities involving peace and their own dreams. They were each given free donated books and a stuffed animal.

“One of our areas of focus is childhood hunger but not only did we want to feed them, we also  wanted to educate them in a fun way,” said co-chair Rayna Minnigan.

Attendee Sabali Rutherford gave a couple of her neighbors a ride to the event so they could get some of the free clothing. Her 8-year-old daughter Zion spent her time getting numerous gifts for her 7-month-old cousin. Rutherford, who also got some soup and donated items for herself, said she was grateful for the generosity of the AKAs and the community.

“It’s a great community event,” she said. “Everyone seems to be satisfied, they have more clothing than you can take home, and the food is not bad, either.”

Donated clothing left over from the event will be given away at future Phi Omega Chapter community events later in the year.


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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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