Miller Johnson honors with service



by Cynthia Price
Legal News

It has become customary for people to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the commemoration of his life celebrated in January by doing service projects to better their communities.

Dr. King himself said, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

About a decade after the non-violent activist’s death in 1968, Michigan’s own Rep. John Conyers co-sponsored a bill to make MLK’s birthday, Jan. 15, a national holiday. That did not become law until 1985, and even now whether schools and companies give students and workers the day off is up to them. But an increasing number of organizations have started arranging community service projects, which employees may participate in on company time.

In fact, the Day of Service was established officially by the King Holiday and Service Act, sponsored by Congressmen Harris Wofford (Pennsylvania) and John Lewis (Atlanta), and signed in 1994.
This is the eighth time Miller Johnson law firm has celebrated Service Day.

The firm supplied almost 160 volunteers - attorneys, paralegals, and other staff - to ten Grand Rapids locations: Beacon Hill, Blandford Nature Center, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, Feeding America West Michigan, HQ (for runaway teens), Mel Trotter Ministries, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health, Ronald McDonald House, and SECOM (which houses a pantry and other walk-in services); and three in Kalamazoo: the YWCA, Girls on the Run, and Kleinstruck Preserve.

Featured here are the teams at Mel Trotter Ministries, the large downtown shelter offering meals and many programs, and The Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford.

The Equest Center offers equine-based therapy to physically, mentally and socially/emotionally challenged people, combining traditional horsemanship skills with therapeutic concepts. The group there was especially efficient, cleaning stalls in record time, which resulted in the additional assignment of hosing down and evening out the riding arena, shown at right.