Volunteers honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by assembling 1,000 outreach kits

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Several groups honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday by giving back to the most in-need Hoosiers.

Volunteers gathered at the Kennedy King Park Center on Monday to assemble survival kits, in hopes their message resonates across the city.

For Kensley Lewis, there’s something special about volunteering on a day like Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“We try to cope the same kind of work habits and the thought process,” Lewis said.

He’s taken Dr. King’s legacy and found a way to give back to the Circle City.

“There’s a lot of people here, just unify together of all walks of life and we’re here just trying to make a difference,” Lewis added.

Lewis joined a room of about one hundred others to create survival kits for the less fortunate. It’s a partnership with Indy Parks, Indiana University Health and Future Farmers of America. The outreach kits include granola bars, snacks and water along with hygiene products. The volunteers also collected gently used adult clothing.

“It’ll go pretty quick also,” said Gregory W. Porter, a chairman for the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative. “We have a pretty substantial homeless population.”

Porter’s organization is leading the effort. Through the assembly line, volunteers are helping put together 1,000 street outreach survival kits.

“What we want to do is carry on that work, so that our kids, our grand kids and other individuals can continue to live a life of integrity and understand,” said Porter. “People are very grateful, you never know what individuals are going through and those who seem to be all in-tact and moving forward there are obstacles in their lives. Little things like this, just small kind things is very important for people to feel better about themselves.”

Porter says it’s about continuing Dr. King’s work, while starting the conversation about what it means to advocate for what’s right.

“It’s about convening conversations, collaborating and have some hard discussions when it comes to race relationships within our city and state of Indiana,” Porter added.

The Horizon House, which connects people in need to resources, will distribute the survival kits throughout the year.

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