Copperas Cove community volunteers honor MLK with cleanup event
By PAMELA GRANT
More than 1,200 pounds of trash were collected on Saturday at a community cleanup event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Day, the third Monday in January, is not only a federal holiday, it is a national day of service, “a day on, not a day off,” in which all Americans are encouraged to volunteer to help improve their communities.
The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization that encourages veterans to continue their service and help out their communities, asked the Copperas Cove community to join them in commemorating and celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life of service and dedication to volunteerism, civic duties, and community engagement.
“Dr. King’s legacy is community service, and we wanted to do something good for the community,” said Anthony Martinez, with The Mission Continues. “It’s about celebrating the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King. We wanted to make sure that people are out here and they know why they are doing this. Dr. Martin Luther King symbolizes community service and equality and justice. We are here today in memory of him.”
Roxanne Flores-Achmad, KCCB Executive Director, said that the Mission Continues came to her group with the idea of doing something for the community in honor of MLK Day of Service, and they ultimately decided on the cleanup event. The event was a big success with 102 volunteers picking up a total of 1,275 pounds of trash Saturday.
The Mission Continues, Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful (KCCB), the Solid Waste Department, and other volunteers gathered in the McAlister’s Deli parking lot Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Before dispersing to their cleaning locations, they talked about Dr. King’s legacy, even playing a clip of his famous “I have a dream” speech.
To help maintain social distance, volunteers were divided into five main cleaning groups, McAlister’s Deli, Cinergy Cinemas, Raising Cane’s, USAA, and along the fence line across from Walmart that you see when you first come into the city.
“It’s the first thing that people see when they come into town,” said Roxanne Flores-Achmad, KCCB Executive Director. “We want people coming into Copperas Cove to see that we are clean, and we’re a beautiful community, and we care about it.”
Flores-Achmad said that by helping to clean up our city, we can all make a difference
Pat Grace attended the cleanup event with her 6-year-old grandson, Amyas.
“He comes from a mixed family,” said Grace referring to her grandson. “So his father and the school taught him about who Martin Luther King was and it’s important for him to be here to show his dedication. He also likes to clean up.”
Amyas said that he enjoyed getting to help “keep our city clean.”
KCCB’s next cleanup event will be a waterway cleanup on March 6.