MILWAUKEE — Martin Luther King Jr. Day looked different in light of the pandemic, but the desire to help others stayed the same.
A team of community organizations came together at the Lovell Johnson Quality of Life Center for a day of service to honor the civil rights icon.
"I know he always said that you don’t need a college degree or you don’t have to have a special education to provide service," said Shana Brown, Community Resource Navigator with Health Connections Inc.
People across Milwaukee came together at 15th and Atkinson on Monday to help their neighbors.
There they offered free COVID-19 testing and information on how to stay safe through the pandemic.
"This may be their first time even being offered to be tested because a lot of the people can’t get out to Miller Park or other places that are far away," said Brown.
Organizers also offered free t-shirts that shined a light on local artists and social issues, as well as, free groceries to take home. Some of the groceries will be taken to people who are stuck at home.
"Part of the reason for this day and the celebration of this day it's so people understand that the work he started. He started it, but it's not done," said Lovell Johnson, Jr., Senior Steward at St. Mark AME Church.
Johnson said MLK Day is about helping our neighbors in any way we can.
The event, run by volunteers, was expected to serve about 300 people.
"It’s very timely when you look at all the issues we are dealing with in our nation and our community and that we can come together collectively to help make a difference," said Lorraine Nathan, Executive Director at Lovell Johnson Quality of Life Center.
Donna Johnson grew up in the neighborhood and attended Monday's event. She said watching people come together to help others is how it should be.
"Everybody should work together for the same purpose you know? So it’s a great feeling," said Johnson.
The work does not end here. Organizers said they hold similar events throughout the year.