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Giving in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Featured photo: Girlie Buck’s granddaughter Damya is rightfully proud of her blanket. Photo by L. M. Land

Written by L. M. Land

To honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., First Union Baptist Church celebrated his memorial day as a day of prayer and community service.  Starting the morning at 9 a.m. with prayer was followed by sharing the morning meal together.  Then the attendees introduced themselves and said what they were grateful for.

Then everyone got busy.  Double layers of fleece fabric soon covered all the tables and everyone started cutting fringe.  This fringe is then used to tie the two layers together, making a doubly warm blanket.

“Just loving on each other and having fun and being a blessing, that’s what it’s all about, this day of service. Blessing those who are less fortunate.” said First Lady Vicki Greene.

“The blankets will be distributed to the community,” Lady Greene explained. “Some may go to the warming center, children’s centers and to those that are homeless. We want to be a blessing to the community. Each year keeps getting bigger and bigger, and we’re praying that next year is bigger. We may have to get another place to host it.”

About 50 blankets were made.  Each person brought the fabric they used to make one or two blankets each.

Johnnie Etherly helped to organize the event. “The object was it is Martin Luther King day, which is a day of service. We did it last year, there were only a few of us.  This year we have a great turnout, I asked for about 30 and got that and then some.”

Every table was covered with blankets being made. Sheila McMaster, right, is assisted by her grandson. Photo by L. M. Land

There were representatives from three different hustle groups that Etherly attends. “Carman-Ainsworth, S and M out of Hasselbring Senior Center and Hustlers on the Move out of McCree [Theatre], three different hustle groups of women, together.  We dance together, we play together and now we doing service together.” Etherly said.

“We did have some men, a couple of deacons came. We had five men come to help make quilts. My son helped with the breakfast. The main thing is the fellowship amongst the women, to keep them interested in doing something in the community.”

Etherly explained that “We’re all seniors, and a lot of them don’t work.” Etherly still works at Lawrence E. Moon Funeral Home.

Lady Greene continued. “We try to do something with each other every month, but is not always just for us, this here [event] is for the community.  We have done it for Christmas before, making blankets.  We also have a women’s section, where we talk about women of the bible, some of those unfamiliar unknown women other than Ruth and Naomi and Eve. We also try to take our young people under our wings.  We get together every month to do something, whether we go out to breakfast, or we have dinner, whether we be in the garden, it is about the fellowship.”

First Union’s giving heart and hands along with the fellowship of working together is exactly what Dr. King would appreciate:

Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve. This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in. I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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