The Martin Luther King Day of Service in Voorhees on Jan. 15 was spent at Brandywine Senior Living, where volunteers and police officers assembled winter bags filled with outerwear, snack bars and other supplies for the homeless.
Organized by township police chaplain Scott Borsky, the effort was among many in the area and around the nation to honor King and evoke his legacy of service.
“For the MLK Day of Service, I organize programs each year for my students and their families,” Borsky said. “This year, I thought it would be nice to have the event at Brandywine, and they graciously allowed me that honor. It would be a blessing to many families and the residents.
“Whenever the police officers are out in the community, that is always a positive step of wonderful interactions that reinforces unity and community,” Borsky said. “The winter clothing donated will go to local police departments, providing them with resources to help those in need in our community.
“It was truly an honor that they attended this event.”
Officer Eric Camm noted Borsky’s efforts and his feelings about the day at Brandywine.
“We as a police department can’t take credit for much of this event,” he acknowledged. “Scott Borsky organized everything. We were excited when he invited us to be a part of it. It was a great collaboration with youth volunteers and the retired community. With the help of the VOA (Volunteers of America), the clothing donations were dispersed to the needy in Voorhees and other surrounding towns. “
The Brandywine initiative, Borsky explained, aligned with Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of spreading light and love. Borsky shared his favorite quote by the civil rights leader: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Borsky also reflected on planning and execution of the event and highlighted overwhelming support from the community.
“The sheer amount of donations was such a blessed moment,” he noted. “Our community truly has many angels.”
The MLK Day of Service is a federal holiday that was years in the making. Among other efforts, King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, submitted six million signatures in the early 1980s to support a bill that would establish a federal holiday in her husband’s honor, according to readingpartners.org.
It was in 1994 that Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act to make the holiday a day dedicated to volunteer service.