Associates Honor Dr. King with Community Service
The spirit of community was alive as Honda companies across the U.S. participated in a variety of activities to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Activities ranged from making turtle pillows for children, conducting an afterschool program, sprucing up a local school and more.
More than 400 volunteers from American Honda (AHM) and American Honda Finance Corp. (AHFC) took part in community service projects all over the country, including Torrance, California; Troy, Ohio; and Alpharetta, Georgia. Members of Business Resource Groups (BRGs) were invited and AHM and HNA CEO Shinji Aoyama and Auto Division Senior Vice President Hideto Yamasaki joined in.
“Each BRG has a pillar focused on supporting the community,” said Cristallea Buchanan, manager of Inclusion & Diversity for AHM. “Although the different BRGs have their respective goals, we all come together on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to honor Dr. King’s legacy of building a stronger community together.”
In total, volunteers completed the following projects:
- 400 comfort pillows for the Painted Turtle Summer Camp
- 1,000 hospital kits for the Painted Turtle Summer Camp
- 400 baby onesies for Baby2Baby
- 60 blankets for local children’s charities
- 50 waiting room bags for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
- 300 knitted socks and underwear bundles for Hannah’s Treasure Chest
- STEAM Mural for Orville Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet through LA Works
Honda of America Mfg. (HAM) sponsored breakfast celebrations in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Columbus and Lima, Ohio. In Columbus, HAM was joined by Honda R&D Americas (HRA) as a platinum sponsor of the 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Breakfast, the largest breakfast in the country honoring the fallen civil rights leader. The Lima event was sponsored with Honda Transmission Mfg. (HTM). Both events were well-attended by HAM leaders and associates.
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana (HMIN) volunteers braved freezing temperatures at the Indianapolis Zoo to greet guests, collect canned food donations, and hand out free hats and blankets to help keep visitors warm. Admission was free with the donation of canned food items.
“This tradition has provided more than 95 tons of non-perishable food items to those in need,” said Kortni Fenning of the Indianapolis Zoo. “HMIN’s support ensures the event takes place.”
In addition, HMIN’s AARCH (African American Resource Collaborative of Honda) BRG presented a Martin Luther King Jr. Day afterschool program. Karen Tarver, president of AARCH BRG, developed the program with Jill Pratt, youth services manager of the Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library. Seven AARCH volunteers helped students put together a timeline of important dates in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life (above). HMIN volunteers also helped students with a peace-themed watercolor painting project in partnership with the library.
“The Martin Luther King Jr. event partnership between Honda, the Greensburg Public Library and our local schools has been wonderful,” said Pratt. “Our community is small, rural, and does not have a diverse population, so exposing our students to the work and life of Dr. King is very important.
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) associates volunteered as part of the MLK Day of Service at Tenth Street Elementary School in Anniston, Alabama. For the first time, HMA held its volunteer day in Anniston with about 15 associates and family members who painted two resource rooms and entry doors and did some minor cleaning. Recognizing the need at the school, associates plan on returning over the next few months to lend a hand.