January 15, 2021

Do good while celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday

By Lynda Edwards for Times Union

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is the only national holiday also designated as a day of national service, a perfect tribute to a man who transformed America and challenged the ancient evil of racism in his brief 39 years of life. Two beloved Capital Region nonprofits offer easy ways to do good for the community this Monday, Jan. 18, which is Martin Luther King Day.

Food and boxes of new diapers will be collected from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday for Family Promise, which houses homeless families with children. The pandemic has increased the need for housing and food so greatly that Family Promise will be stocking free, unlocked pantry boxes in neighborhoods with the highest level of food insecurity. If you would like to help, donate anything that can survive freezing temperatures – canned fruits and veggies, canned soup, protein bars, coffee, tea, cooking oil, etc. Diapers in size 5 or 6 are most urgently needed, too. Residents near a Family Promise pantry box can take what they need any time.

Drop off donations at either of two congregations: B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation at 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, and Delmar Presbyterian Church at 585 Delaware Ave., Delmar.

Sunday, the Sanctuary for Independent Media invites the public to visit Freedom Square in Troy (corner of 101st St. where 6th Ave. turns into 5th) to see an altar honoring loved ones lost to COVID-19 and to gun violence.  The art installation includes an Altar for our Ancestors Known and Unknown and for all those who have died longing for justice and freedom.

“We’ll have a way set up for visitors to write the name of a loved one, or write down a hope or a prayer for the future and add it to the altar,” sanctuary spokesperson Branda Miller said.

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