This month’s dedicated offering will support Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services.  It is located in the Mason Square neighborhood of Springfield, an area with the highest poverty rate in the city and mostly serving people of color – African Americans, Latinos, and immigrants from many nations. The Center provides essential services to the neighborhood including after-school programs at two locations, a food pantry serving 475 families each week, mental health and homeless services, a gym offering safe haven for youth, and many unique programs.

MLKCC began in 1977 as a Community Fellowship House providing outreach and community ministry.  The Center works with African American & Latino youth and families offering them opportunities to acquire self- help and self-empowerment skills. Community Leadership is a hallmark as the Center recognizes the many “Extraordinary People with Extraordinary Talents” within its community.  Its celebration of King Day at the MassMutual Center is well known, bringing over 200 children on stage as well as many of the Springfield politicians.  Its Social Justice Awards Ceremony, this year on April 14, honors people who have contributed to improving Springfield’s diverse and vibrant culture.

Ronn Johnson, its President, should be with us on April 15.  He will also talk about some of the organization’s other programs, such as the Black College tour and the Clemente Program, a college program aimed at making it convenient for neighborhood people to begin college at a convenient location.  Your generosity of support for this agency will be much appreciated.