Martin Luther King, Jr. has inspired multiple generations to be respectful of all humanity and to serve with an open-hearted spirit. On Jan. 15, IM furthered that mission by arranging a Day of Service through its ILEAD program for students grades six through 12.

More than 200 youths of varying backgrounds and faiths gathered at IM’s two Midtown locations to perform service projects that supported the community’s refugees as well as IM’s Meals on Wheels and aniMeals programs.

Students created handmade flashcards to help newly arrived refugees learn English, using pictures of common objects and their English spellings. They also designed large welcome signs for refugees set to arrive at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in the coming weeks and months.

Some volunteers helped repair and refurbish donated bicycles for refugees, who more often than not rely on bicycles as their main form of transportation. Bicycles are a lifeline for many who otherwise would not be able to get to work or the grocery store.

In addition, students packaged pet food for the feline and canine companions of IM’s Meals on Wheels senior clients who rely on the aniMeals program to keep their furry companions well nourished.

Volunteers also packaged birthday cookies so that Meals on Wheels clients receive a thoughtful gift on their special day, as well as assembled breakfast bags that contained shelf-stable meals.

The unique service projects, performed in the spirit of embracing diversity and interfaith collaboration, caught the attention of the media and were featured on KIAH Ch. 39 that evening.