The Littleton H. Mason Singers and Jayden Coleman to headline Chattanooga’s annual MLK Day of Service

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The Littleton Mason Singers and a spoken-word performance by Jayden Coleman will headline a program kicking off the donation drive for Chattanooga’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

The city of Chattanooga’s Department of Equity and Community Engagement will host the event at City Hall on Mon., Jan. 17, in partnership with the University of Tennessee, River City Company, the NAACP, Scenic Cities Beautiful, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and the Unity Group of Chattanooga.

This year’s theme is: “The Beloved Community…It Starts With Me!”

During the event, Mayor Tim Kelly will provide featured remarks and the Mayor’s Youth Council will offer reflections on service. Members of the local NAACP branch will also be in attendance to conduct voter registration and a membership drive.

City Hall will serve as a collection point for donations to benefit organizations located in the ML King Boulevard and 11th Street area. Residents can either walk up or drive up to drop-off their donations from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Jan. 17. Beneficiaries will be: Whiteside Faith Manor, Arts Build, The Community Kitchen, the Maclellan Shelter for Families and residents of Patten Towers. 

Items needed for donations include new or gently-used clothing, non-perishable food items, art supplies and personal hygiene products such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap and disposable masks. 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city will not host any larger-scale, in-person service

projects for the MLK Day of Service in 2022. 

However, Mayor Kelly encourages individuals, small groups and families to organize their own service projects within their neighborhoods, and share that activity online by using the hashtag #MLKChatt2022.

The annual MLK Day of Service was launched in 2014 at the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy as a “day on, not a day off,” where Chattanoogans were encouraged to come together and work on community-oriented service projects. 

Past projects have included a clean-up at the Historic Beck Knob Cemetery, painting and cleaning of local childcare centers, neighborhood beautification and litter pickups, among others.

The donation drive is a rain-or-shine event and will be live-streamed via the Department of Equity and Community Engagement’s Facebook page.