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Neighbors of Kane County

Volunteers Participate in A Day of Service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 21, 2019 04:00PM ● By Hannah Ott

Aurora - Nearly 300 volunteers from the Aurora community gave back this Martin Luther King Day in A Day of Service 2019. They came together in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who truly believed "everybody can be great, because anybody can serve."

After signing up for a shift of 1-5 hours on the City of Aurora's website, participants went to their local organization in need, between the hours of 9:30am-4pm. They served their community at local libraries, food pantries, shelters, rehabilitation centers, museums, schools and senior living centers. Some stocked shelves with books; some stocked shelves with nonperishable foods, but everyone gave back in their own way to uphold MLK's values. 

Volunteers will be honored at the Annual MLK Commemoration at East Aurora High School, 500 Tomcat Lane. Starting tonight at 6pm, Aurora residents will be honored with the Donna J. Willams Service Award for their participation, keynote speaker Pastor Teddy Matthews will speak about MLK's devotion to service and local student-leaders will receive Mayor Richard Irvin’s Service Above Self Awards for their year-round efforts to give back to the community.

In celebration of what would be MLK's 90th birthday, visitors can expect spirited performances by students from East, Metea Valley, Waubonsie Valley and West Aurora High Schools as well as the Illinois Math and Science Academy and Cathedral of Grace St. John Church. 

Today also marks the 65th anniversary of MLK's first senior pastor role in 1954 of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama from where he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott the following year. In his honor, Pastor Teddy Matthews will share a special message about the importance of service to the community. Matthews is founder of The Empowerment Academy and is an award-winning pastor, motivator and mentor who has been empowering youth in Aurora since his undergraduate years at Aurora University.

Source:, quote by MLK at, photo by