This past Monday, Jan. 21, over 200 men, women, and children came together across six different project sites to serve the Tucker community.
Tucker High students and Northlake Church of Christ members painted walls and at Brockett Elementary School. Members from Tucker First United Methodist, First Baptist Tucker and Rehoboth Baptist in Tucker tilled beds, spread mulch and beautified that landscaping at Tucker Middle School. They also enjoyed a good game of freeze tag involving the children and teens.
At Networks Cooperative Ministry, food purchased from the Atlanta Community Food Bank was processed and stored, while general indoor and outdoor clean up tasks were performed by eager volunteers. At Smoke Rise Elementary, Cross of Grace Church volunteers handled a number of tasks, while at Tucker High, volunteers joined a Hands Across Atlanta group to do work across the campus.
Finally, over 100 volunteers spent time at the Tucker Nature Preserve moving mulch and planting trees.
How did this MLK Day of Service event come together? Partnership. One of the partnering organizations, the Tucker Civic Association has hosted a Day of Service event on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday for the past few years. A group of ministers meeting at Tucker High School decided in November to organize a Day of Service for MLK day, and they reached out to the Tucker Civic Association who readily agreed to a shared effort.
Schools in the community came forward to host projects, churches committed to send volunteers, and the Friends of the Tucker Nature Preserve, led by Pam McNall and Beth White, joined the effort with an “all-in” kind of enthusiasm. This was a true collaboration between groups in Tucker who care about serving our community.
There are so many people to thank in an effort like this, but we as the Tucker community need to recognize one person. Early on in this effort, Shawn Duncan, Associate Pastor at Northlake Church of Christ, offered to take on the coordination of the MLK Day of Service. He organized projects, communicated with site leaders, helped manage registration, and in short, made sure this event came together.
There were also wonderful leaders at each site, but without Shawn’s time and energy, the MLK Day of Service in Tucker would not have occurred. We also need to thank the churches who participated, the Friends of the Tucker Nature Preserve, the schools, and all of the sponsoring organizations. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we work together.
Before the volunteers left for project sites on Monday, the group gathered at Tucker High School to eat breakfast provided by Tucker First United Methodist Church, write notes of encouragement to teachers at Tucker High School, and to hear some words of instruction. During these comments, Principal James Jackson of Tucker High School challenged the group with these words from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.”
May we, as the Tucker community, commit to growing great through serving others.