By CLOEY CALLAHAN
Organizations across Newburgh went out into the community on Monday, January 18 to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Although it wasn’t like in years past because of the pandemic, a number of individuals stepped up to celebrate this civil rights leader and his legacy.
The day kicked off with a day of service held by the Regional Economic Community Action Program (RECAP), where volunteers met at 10 a.m. to begin a community clean-up.
We Are Newburgh spent the day handing out hats and coats at the House of Refuge International Ministries for those in need.
Individuals Making Positive Advancements in their Communities Together, or IMPACT, held a socially-distanced outdoor event for a brief prayer, which was followed by handing out masks throughout the city. Others left a flower at the base of Newburgh’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s statue to honor him.
My Brother’s Keeper, with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, also distributed masks on Monday. They distributed masks at the Newburgh Free Library via a drive-through set up. Scholars also visited senior homes in the area to drop off masks and hand sanitizers.
While Habitat for Humanity usually has a day of service and invites community members out, this year they held a Facebook Live event where Reverend J. Edward Lewis spoke about the importance of the day.
Additionally, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region is challenging members of the community to a 21-day equity challenge, kicking off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and ending on February 7. The challenge has audio, visual and print resources about specific topics in the community for each day. It is free of charge to participate.
“The challenge provides a powerful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequality affects daily life and our community,” read the site. For more information, visit app.mobilecause.com/vf/equity21.
“It is imperative that, as a nation and here in Orange County, we continue to honor the vision and legacy of Dr. King by having zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind,” Orange County Excutive Steve Neuhaus said. “There is never any place for prejudice in a good and just society. Monday’s commemoration of Dr. King and his guiding principles reminds us to reflect on his life, teachings and beliefs and apply them to the way we live our own lives today.”