Serving on MLK Day

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is set aside as a day of service, not just a day off from work or school. Students at the Bright Futures CLC and members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.: Phi Sigma Omega Chapter of Gonzales collaborated to serve and entertain residents at the Chateau D’Ville Rehab and Retirement Home in Donaldsonville on Monday.

The two non-profit organizations brought in a new bingo game for the residents to enjoy, and played six games with them where six winners were awarded fruit baskets. Afterwards, a Bright Futures teacher presented Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. They served, and they celebrated on Dr. King’s day.

Bright Futures Activity Coordinator Tresa Sanders said it’s very important that the kids at Bright Futures understand the importance of giving back to the communities in which they grow up in and “just being able to provide a sense of citizenship and giving back to the community.”

“We partnered with the AKAs and were able to participate with some of the residents here and they really enjoyed us being here and I think even more than them enjoying us, we enjoyed being here as well,” Sanders said. “It was a blessing to be able to donate the bingo game to the facility today. They were lacking a bingo game at the facility and it’s something the residents really enjoy during activity time.”

Students from Bright Futures assisted residents making sure they weren’t overlooking any numbers being called out during the bingo game. However, the residents enjoyed seeing the young faces and even grabbed a few of them for some hugs.

Chandra Darville, President of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated: Phi Sigma Omega Chapter of Gonzales, said their organization, the leadership, and its members “recognizes the need to build meaningful and timely partnerships which share a common goal or vision.”

“My mission for my chapter is to provide quality community service projects to the communities in Ascension, St. James, St. John, and West Baton Rouge parishes,” Darville said. “We certainly want to target the communities on the West side of the river, who have more of a need for these services.”

Darville said when she spoke to Bright Futures’ founder/director Donna Graignard they shared a similar vision. Therefore, the two organizations decided to collaborate on certain activities.

One such activity was MLK Day- service to the residents at Chateau D’ville Rehab and Retirement Home.

“Our International President, Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, refers to MLK Day of Service as one of the sorority’s six Community Impact Days,” Darville said. “This is the day that we lose ourselves in the service of others. The service project falls under the International Program: Target2: Health Promotion, which focused on Alzheimer’s Disease and Caregiver support.”

Sanders said she believes the AKA and Bright Future’s collaboration is the beginning of a really good partnership, and the two are already planning to do some things in the future around the parish.

“Dr. King did not just dream for himself but he envisioned a society for citizens across the board and in the spirit of citizenship we want our students to understand the importance of giving back to the community,” Sanders said. “Today, thorough our partnership with Ascension Parish chapter of AKA we are able to exemplify different aspects of what MLK and his supporters stood for and what we believe in as an organization.”

Sanders added: “Special thanks to Mrs. Darville. She did a phenomenal job supporting us with some of her sorors. They did a great job all around being out here with us. I look forward to continuing the partnership with them.”