LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Monday marks the annual Martin Luther King Day of service. Groups and organizations across the United States take part in servicing their communities, whether it's serving meals to those in need or helping the elderly with yard work.
Members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and American Legion Post 551 chose to serve the community where they felt it was most needed, serving hot meals to the less fortunate.
The Alpha's adopted the American Legion Post 551 to participate in National Serve Day. A $500 federal grant funded the program, which kicked-off Sunday night with the American Sunday Supper. It continued Monday in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Every year the alpha sorority chooses a community service activity to participate in on MLK day. Today it was at Abraham's Tent, serving food to the needy.
Committee chairman Desiree Jordan-Adams says the groups chose Abraham's Tent in efforts to reach as many people as possible through their services.
"It's important because that's what we all should strive for," said Jordan-Adams. "One common goal to provide for those who are in need as well as that's what Dr. King wanted us to do."
The groups incorporated the slogan "a day on and not a day off" as they prepared trays of food for those in need.
Historian from Post 551 Marialisa Edwards said they hoped to convey a message inspired by Dr. King.
"One of the things that Martin Luther King Jr. strived to get us to understand is to help the poor, help the needy," said Edwards. "And we wanted to make sure and celebrate today in the way that we feel he would have intended us to celebrate."
American Legion Post 551 serves at Abraham's Tent throughout the year but pairing with the Alpha's was something new. First Vice Commander Herbert Jones says serving the community is an act of paying it forward.
"Somewhere along the lines, somebody helped one of my parents, and if I can give back to the community as an individual, I feel that I have accomplished something," said Jones.
Both organizations participate in community service year round. American Legion Post 551 participates in 'Toys for Tots' as well as visiting area nursing homes once a month to celebrate birthdays.