Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is referred to as “A Day On, Not a Day Off.”
That was certainly the case as approximately 200 youths and leaders coming from 12 diverse congregations from the Fort Bend Interfaith Community met Monday, Jan. 21, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sugar Land.
“What a way to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy to bring kids of different backgrounds, different races, religions to do good for the community,” said Rabbi Josh Lobel, serving as chair of the Fort Bend Interfaith Community Council. “It was his dream – a world in which the color of one’s skin doesn’t matter. At the heart of all the different religions is the idea that we are going to work together to create a better world. We ask what can we do for someone else?”
The youths responded. They built six beds for foster children in conjunction with Cultivating Families. They made 200 hygiene kits for the Star of Hope, and 200 sack lunches for Lord’s Kitchen in Rosenberg. They made cards and wrote encouraging notes for patients at the Houston Veteran’s Administration Hospital, as well as collecting a carload of socks for the veterans. Some gave blood in a donor coach from The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.
After a lunch of pizza and salad, the youths participated in an interfaith dialogue. Questions were asked to stimulate discussion about their own faith, and to discuss stereotypes and misconceptions they have encountered.
Here’s what some of the youths thought:
“I came because it is an interfaith social and I can learn about other religions and the different aspects of what they believe and also I can teach others about my religion,” said Enara Roohullah, a ninth-grader.
“We made a footboard for foster children. It felt good to help people in need. I came to help my community out, especially on this important day,” said Kelvin Mayes, and 11th-grader.
“This is a great activity for everyone to come and meet together. It’s a lot of fun. I don’t know many but I’m getting to know them now,” said Liam Moss, a 12th-grader.