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Bethlehem non-profit celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 20 2014 05:05:58 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 21 2014 05:16:49 AM CST

One local organization wants to make sure its employees focus on the meaning of Martin Luther King, Jr. day.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

One local organization wants to make sure its employees focus on the meaning of Martin Luther King, Jr. day.

Resources for Human Development (RHD) in Bethlehem devoted Monday to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day activities and hopes its example will inspire others to do the same.

At RHD the focus is on helping people with a variety of challenges to meet life goals.

But on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, the values-based, non-profit organization celebrated the slain civil rights leader's life by sharing his legacy with staff members and their children.

"Many adolescents, whether they are in grammar school or high school, come to look at Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as another day off from school as opposed to what the day is really about, a commemoration of his contributions to society," said Sydney Anderson, RHD essay contest winner.

RHD employees and their children learn about those contributions through a series of essay contests, crafts and creative discussions.

"He was a good Christian man. He didn't believe that one race was superior to the other," said RHD guest speaker William Robinson.

RHD's central office in Philadelphia has been marking Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in this way for 26 years.

Bethlehem is one of several facilities in 14 states that is following suit.

Organizer Valerie Roseberg says it's important that everyone knows why Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a national holiday.

"Children need to know why they have the day off. They need to know who the important people are in history. They need to know the things that their parents and grandparents had to go through to get them to where they are," said Roseberg.

Roseberg says today's educational celebration is one she hopes to make a tradition and hopefully inspire other businesses and non-profits to do the same.