This week we’ll be featuring a few of the stories of the MLK Drum Major for Service award honorees. MLK Drum Majors for Service are the helping hands who perform extraordinary everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment, but who seldom receive recognition. The awards were a chance for faith and community leaders to acknowledge and honor their service.
With 2011 marking the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, this was the perfect time to honor those who work behind the scenes, as many did during the civil rights movement. They may be people who regularly cook meals for their congregation or those who feed the hungry, organize clothing or food drives, serve as mentors or tutors, or teach fatherhood classes to young fathers.
We are proud that so many people responded to this call for names and would like to share a few of their stories as inspiration for your plans on MLK Day on 1/17 and beyond.
Our honorees today hail from Emmanuel – H.M. Turner African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, CA and were nominated by their pastor, Rev. Joyce Reece Kitchen.
Angel Wilson-Ball was nominated for her outstanding volunteer service at the park in the church’s community. For the past 18 months she has volunteered her time teaching and leading the women of the area in fitness classes and activities. Even as she mourned the death of her father and was the victim of a violent assault, this wife and mother of young children did not waver in her commitment to service. By demonstrating the importance of physical fitness in the community, Mrs. Ball is an inspiration to young and old alike.
Wallace Ussery has a lifelong history of service to his church and the community at-large. Even at the age of 70, Mr. Ussery continues to give generously of his time and talent. One of his most notable activities has been the mentoring and care of a young homeless man. Providing shelter and clothes and assisting him with finding and receiving medical care and social services, he has made a tremendous impact on this young man’s life. Many of the young men in the community tell stories of how Mr. Ussery has assisted them in times of need. Consistently providing support for those who are less fortunate than himself, Mr. Ussery and his humility are a constant inspiration to those around him.
Mr. Anderson takes the mandate of the Gospel very seriously, particularly those sections that emphasize responsibility to young men. He has been a tireless role model and guide for the young men in the church and the surrounding community. Taking his personal time to attend their sporting events and activities, he has made a positive impact on many of the young men in the church and community. In addition, he teaches those young men the positive values necessary to be a productive member of society. Mr. Anderson is consistent and compassionate in his response to those in need, and for this he is a true inspiration.
Mr. McAuley leads the Health and Wellness Ministry of the church and his concern for the health and wellbeing of people in the immediate community and beyond is unmatched. Each year, he organizes and oversees a Health Fair. There, community members from underserved areas can receive vital health services such as HIV testing, vision and hearing screenings, and blood pressure and diabetes screenings. It also provides an opportunity for health education professionals to lead workshops covering health related topics. Mr. McAuley also conducts monthly seminars for the congregation and community, addressing health concerns. Most recently, he has spearheaded an obesity prevention initiative for the women of the church and community. Others find Mr. McAuley an inspiration for the personal touch he uses to motivate others to take care of their health.