Ministry reflects on Martin Luther King Jr. while serving those in need

Hot meals and gifts were on the menu Sunday for those in need in Philadelphia. Volunteers spent the Martin Luther King Day eve helping those who are less fortunate.

Service to others is what the volunteers at Chosen 300 Ministries, in West Philadelphia, are about as they honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by helping with a Sunday morning breakfast.

"We had grits, eggs, sausage, home fries, French toast - the whole nine yards. Just to be able to give them a warm meal," said Executive Director Brian Jenkins.

Jenkins, motivated by Dr. King's message of service, saw a diverse group of volunteers working together at the very same location where Dr. King spoke in 1965, at the corners of 40th Street, Lancaster Avenue and Haverford Avenue. It's something that blows their minds.

"Just coming here and knowing that Martin Luther King actually stood here, it's a wonderful feeling. Being back home in DC where I'm originally from and seeing that monument is something that is special in my heart. And just to know that I'm here at another historical landmark is amazing," explained Renaldo Russell.

The memorial enshrines the Philadelphia leg of Dr. King's "Freedom Now" tour.

"It was part of the idea of desegregating Girard College, but also sending the message of equality and civil rights throughout the City of Philadelphia and also throughout our nation," Jenkins said.

Jenkins sees part of Dr. King's message as speaking directly to the needs of those struggling to make ends meet, especially with the government shutdown impacting Chosen 300's ability to offer assistance.

"The funds that we would normally receive from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program under FEMA - those funds are not coming. They're being held up because of this government shutdown. Our message to the politicians is shut the darn shutdown down," Jenkins explained.

In the meantime, the good work continues for these servants of humanity on Martin Luther King weekend and beyond.

"It was really nice to see everybody sitting together. The service today was really great," said Karim Merchant.

Anyone wishing to participate in the Martin Luther King Day of Service can choose from this list of events: