Hattiesburg, Mississippi – In lieu of service projects that require large group gatherings, the City of Hattiesburg is celebrating its annual MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 18, with a drive-thru mask and hand sanitizer distribution event and the #IServedHBURG challenge.
“Dr. Martin Luther King once stated, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is – What are you doing for others?’ And, during a season of great strife and political turbulence, picking up the opportunity to serve our neighbors can and will have a great impact,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker.
Free cloth masks and hand sanitizer will be distributed on Monday, January 18 at Hawkins Elementary (526 Forrest Street) from 9 a.m. until Noon. Participants are encouraged to enter by way of Green Street. Items for distribution were generously provided by Forrest County Emergency Management District.
“In the past, we’ve celebrated the spirit of service exemplified through Dr. King’s life by hosting several project sites all across the community,” said Barker. “This year, we’re shifting focus to continue our efforts in making sure our vulnerable continue to be protected through our response to this pandemic.”
In addition to the drive-thru event, Barker is issuing a challenge to all residents to take up some form of service on Monday.
Barker added, “While we aren’t encouraging large gatherings, many service opportunities still exist and can be done with your own family – like picking up litter, beautification efforts in your own neighborhood, writing notes of gratitude to our health care workers and first responders or picking up a DIY Card Kit from one of the many Little Free Libraries to send to a nursing home. Collectively, even with small actions, we can make a big impact on those around us.”
Residents who participate in acts of service are encouraged to share on social media – tagged with #IServedHBURG – in hopes to influence others to do the same.
In addition to the drive-thru event and the challenge, the Hattiesburg Community Arts Center is packaging DIY Card Kits that will be available in several Little Free Libraries around town. They can be used to share messages of hope and goodwill for nursing home residents. They will be available for free on Monday in the following locations:
- Community Arts Center (North Main Street)
- Town Square Park
- Hawkins Elementary
- Woodley Elementary
- Earl Travillion
- City Hall
- Thames Elementary