Westside Future Fund had the honor of welcoming over 1,400 volunteers to over 10 sites throughout the historic Westside for our annual MLK Day of Service on January 15. Together, we worked to make a transformative impact on the community in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many other Civil Rights leaders lived, learned, and worked.
The event united people of all ages and backgrounds in our collective effort to transform our community into one that Dr. King would be proud to call home. Volunteers had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities ranging from creating arts and crafts, tending to local gardens, cleaning up local schools, and more.
The impact of the event was further magnified by the generous support of our presenting sponsor, The Home Depot Foundation, whose contribution provided essential additional resources to amplify our work in the community.
“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve…
You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King has a rich history and legacy within our community, the place he called home for much of his life. He attended Booker T. Washington High School in Ashview Heights and later graduated from Morehouse College. In 1965, he and his wife Corretta purchased 234 Sunset Avenue in historic Vine City where his family lived for years after his assassination in 1968. It would later become the home of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and is currently protected by the National Park Service.
Historians have said that Dr. King was moved to the King family home on Sunset Avenue to “prove a point.” A Nobel Peace Prize winner, he had the option to reside in a highly affluent neighborhood. However, he deliberately chose Vine City due to the community’s conditions, seeking to draw attention to the challenges it faced. It was his vision that one day the historic Westside community, and our nation, could one day be a “Beloved Community.”
That sentiment was echoed by Annie Moore, a historic Westside resident with the Green Team of English Avenue Inc. and Friends of Lindsey Street Park and Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park “This day of service is an opportunity to continue to expand on Dr. King’s dream,and build the Beloved community,” said Moore. “WFF is my annual MLK Day volunteer organization and I’m looking forward to getting Kathryn Johnston Memorial park ready for the summer.”
Doug Cain was volunteering with Chick-fil-A on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Cain is a resident of the West End and a parent. “M. Agnes Jones is my local elementary school and I have a kindergartener coming up next year. When the opportunity came to give back to my own community, I thought ‘why wouldn’t I do that?’”
Today, we continue to work towards the principles of Dr. King and embody his vision. The 2024 MLK Day of Service is a perfect example of how we as a community can unify as one and forge forward in this work together. In addition to our presenting sponsor the Home Depot Foundation, Westside Future Fund would like to give a special thanks to our corporate and community partners for their participation in our MLK Day including:
- Breakthrough Atlanta/The Lovett School
- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- Community Teen Coalition
- Georgia Power
- Georgia Natural Gas
- Grant Thornton
- Most Valuable Kids
- PNC Bank
- Quest CDC
- Workday Atlanta