It all started, said Fitzer, just prior to Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2004. "Heather and I were discussing the fact that the kids would be out of school for Dr. King's birthday, but no events were planned for them. We looked at each other and we knew we had to do something." The result was an annual January MLK Day event for children in Greenville.
In cooperation with a local Presbyterian church, Magruder and Fitzer organized an event last year and another one this year. About 70 children and 30 adults attended this year's event, held in a local library. "We had music, cooperative games, crafts, and a presentation about Dr. King," said Fitzer. "Many people told us how grateful they were that we'd arranged this."
A social justice activities fund, left to the fellowship by recently deceased members John and Peg McFerrin, paid for this year's event.
As part of the day's activities, children made colored construction-paper portraits of themselves at the You Are Special and One of a Kind booth. Others made friendship bracelets or bookmarks. Kids also had the opportunity to sign brief statements like "will not fight with my brothers and sisters" and "will make a new friend" at the Make a Pledge to Work for Peace booth.
Plans are under way for a third MLK event next year.