CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Clarksburg Mission and Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center partnered together on Jan. 16 to hold a “Martin Luther King Jr. Service.”

The service in the Clarksburg Mission’s Chapel started off with a prayer from Lou Ortenzio, the playing of the Black National Anthem and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but a presentation from Toney Dixon, EEO program manager of the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, reminded people that MLK Day is meant to be more than a day off, but rather a day of remembrance.

Dixon discussed how in 1994, the AmeriCorps designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as the first and only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. The slide said, “The MLK Day of Service encourages all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.” When it came to Dixon, he added, “It’s a day of service, not a day off. So, today, we are off of work but yet, we are here providing service to the community. Sometimes we provide services to projects like cleaning up a park – or cleaning up a highway. But this is great because we’re working with people.”

Toney Dixon feels that Monday was a great day to inform the community on MLK Jr.’s legacy of non-violence and inclusion. The idea to collaborate with the Clarksburg Mission came about when the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center was looking for an opportunity to do outreach for veterans.
After the service, attendees went through a line where they were given the following items:

  • Bibles
  • Socks
  • Water
  • Personal blankets
  • Snack bags
  • Hygiene kits

This event may take place again next year, Dixon said that if it does take place, they would like to do a larger observance than this year.