Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Focusing on Voting Rights Trail


By Brittany Bivins

Hundreds of people in our area will be coming together to serve their communities over the next few days. It's part of the annual Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King, Junior.

That has special meaning for Montgomery as the city prepares for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March in 2015.

Montgomery's Voting Rights Trail draws visitors every year. now the city is amping up resoration efforts, re-paving sidewalks and sprucing up the area. Community volunteers are a big part the clean-up efforts.

"You know, we want to involve the involve the community in keeping our community beautiful, taking pride in our community, we don't believe in sitting on the sidelines and watching things happen in our community, we believe in really getting out there and making things happen," said Lara Lewis with the Montgomery YMCA.

On Saturday, the Montgomery YMCA is holding the Martin Luther King, Junior day of service in honor of the civil rights leader who had a big impact on the city, even donating money to build the Cleveland Avenue YMCA.

"They were short about $20,000 , so Martin Luther King wrote the check for $20,000. He actually walked these halls, he, this was a big part of who he was," said Lewis.

Voncile Gregory has lived here since 1947 and says this is a big step for the community.

"To see what's going on now is to start us to come back together, because for a long time, we just drifted apart. But to see it come back together, it's just amazing to me, because I've been a part of it all my life," said Gregory.

"I mean, what about you? Wouldn't you like to be in a clean neighborhood? So would I, so I think it's a great thing," said D.J. Williams, who lives in the area.

The city plans to spend $1.3 million dollars to improve infrastructure along the trail ahead of 50th anniversary commemorations, but at a City Hall meeting, Mayor Todd Strange said community involvement in that is key.

"Anytime you're going to go in and do these major projects, it's important to go back in and get the trash frist, and so we thank you for doing that, and we will follow back behind you very soon," Strange said.

If you want to help out, you can come to the Cleveland Avenue YMCA, starting at 9:30 Saturday morning.
There's a short service before the cleanup begins, and everyone is invited.