HOUSTON (January 9, 2023) – For many years, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston has hosted a Day of Service for youth on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This project is called iLEAD. In 2023, it is expanding into a robust youth engagement program that will inspire, educate, and connect 8th grade students and a parent or guardian in a unique learning and service opportunity to build stronger interpersonal relationships, communication skills, and networking abilities across diverse faith and cultural backgrounds.

From January to May 2023, student and parent/guardian participants will explore Houston’s diversity, learn what allyship means, and make a difference through volunteerism and service in monthly interactive, innovative, and fun programs.

This expanded program kicks off on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. at Interfaith Ministries’ Midtown headquarters at 3303 Main Street. Councilman Edward Pollard will deliver remarks about Dr. King and the importance of his work, as well as share information on the importance of service, allyship, and how he works to create The Beloved Community as a councilmember. The Beloved Community is a term created by Dr. King that refers to a community in which everyone is cared for, absent of poverty, hunger, and hate. Interfaith Ministries senior board member and community leader Laurence J. “Larry” Payne will make introductory remarks at the kickoff and will moderate a question-and-answer session.

By uniting students and a parent or guardian in dialogue, service, and collaboration, iLEAD offers opportunities to share quality time with each other, build and strengthen family bonds, and impact our community in a positive way. Participants will acquire valuable leadership skills in the following ways:

  • By encountering individuals representing Houston’s many cultures and beliefs.
  • By valuing the individuality and identities of others and taking pride in their own culture and heritage.
  • By developing leadership skills to carry into high school and beyond.
  • By understanding the value and importance of volunteerism and community service.

This important 2023 programming is made possible by lead sponsor CITGO Petroleum Corporation, donors Lisa and John B. Walker and ongoing support from the Rabbi Samuel E. Karff Fund.


A United Way agency, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (Interfaith Ministries) brings people of diverse faith traditions together for dialogue, collaboration and service, as a demonstration of our shared beliefs. Interfaith Ministries provides four main services: Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston and Galveston County which delivers more than 1.7 million meals each year to homebound seniors and people with disabilities across five counties; Refugee Services which, in conjunction with the U.S. State Department, resettles thousands of refugees in Houston; Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships, which provides community services fostering understanding, respect and engagement among Houstonians of all faiths; the Vic Samuels Center for Volunteerism and Civic Service, which establishes a positive and lasting impact on the Greater Houston community through organized service and leadership through Volunteer Houston and SERVE HOUSTON. For more information, visit https://www.imgh.org/.