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MLK Jr. Day of Service brings volunteers to Friendship House

Posted at 1:38 PM, Jan 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-19 15:38:17-05

BILLINGS — Nationwide, many honored the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service on Saturday.

Some volunteered at the Friendship House in Billings.

“It’s actually called Martin Luther King day of service," said Billings City Councilman Mike Yakawich. "That was his message to people. Roll up your sleeves and work and help and serve your community."

Yakawich and several other volunteers helped to clean and fix the Friendship House of Christian Service.

"Somewhere along out of the many things that King said, he said that anybody could serve," said Paul Reeder, Friendship House director from 1975 to 1992. "You don’t need to be rich or famous or important or educated. In a sense, that’s a unifier."

The Friendship House of Christian Service helps children in south Billings.

“It’s a place that they can come, receive help and begin to understand that they also can be a help for others,” Reeder said.

They all did some work here at the Friendship House and when they took a break, they talked about what it means to them, the motivation, the inspiration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I remember being with Martin Luther King on the March on Washington, 1963," said Dave Meyers. "We marched down to the Washington Memorial and heard his speech. it was really good."

“It’s just great to see a day like today when people come together and share service,“ said Rev. Matt Lundgren, director of the Friendship House.

"He didn't do it for people of African descent," said Naomi McMurdie. "He did it for all people."

"To me, it means celebrating our differences," said Amy Ensign, Friendship House Site Program Director. "And what's different about us makes us better. It makes life more vibrant and more interesting when we can appreciate what is different about the people around us."

"I really appreciate Martin Luther King," said Shukria Khan, an MSUB exchange student from Pakistan. "I can feel that here life irrespective is of color, race, culture, everything. Everybody's the same here. And getting the human rights. You can say the rights of the human being by birth."

"I admired (Rev. Dr. King's) philosophy of non-violence," said Margueritte Felig. "That really hit home that we can't be violent and at the same time create connection. I was very impressed with that higher ground. The song Higher Ground has always meant a lot to me as far as hymns go."

"When we serve for the betterment of the community, we can come together and bring the peace, putting the betterment for the people, for children," said Yukiko Yakawich.

“When you get beyond the skin color and all of those kind of things, and just look at the person, I think that ultimately becomes a position of power that (Rev. Dr. King) gave us to move forward with," said Commissioner Denis Pitman, R-Yellowstone County.

“We’re thankful that we get to serve our community,” said Pastor Melvin Terry of the All Nations Fellowship Church.

Terry ended the break with a prayer.

“We pray for togetherness, we pray forgiveness, we pray for love and peace and joy,” Terry said.