By Conor McCue

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Dozens of people gathered outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Library on Colfax Avenue on Monday afternoon to fulfill one of Dr. King’s many missions: taking care of those who are hungry or in need.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day resource fair was put on by Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center, the Aurora and Denver Chapters of the NAAPCP, and the Dayton Street Opportunity Center, among other organizations. For several hours, volunteers gave out hundreds of meals to those in need, as well as other necessities, such as blankets, socks, and hygiene kits.

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“When we say this is a resource fair, we are the resources,” said Brother Jeff Fard.

This act of giving back began years ago in Denver with Brother Jeff. Last year, he brought it to Aurora, with the help of the local chapter of the NAACP and several other organizations.

“When we celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we’re talking about his vision of us standing arm in arm working together and making sure we are all doing our part to uplift those who’ve been downtrodden, those who’ve been disenfranchised, and those who’ve been discriminated against,” said Omar Montgomery, president of the Aurora chapter of the NAACP.

While hundreds of meals went to people in need outside the library, many more went to non-profits around town.

The massive effort was made possible with the help of Regina Edmondson, owner and operator of CME Catering Services, as well as her army of volunteers. Last year, they helped make and distribute 1,200 meals.

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“Our goal is to be able to feed 1,500 people today,” Edmondson said.

For Edmondson, the holiday is as much about action as it is about celebrating progress.

“When you look at what Martin Luther King’s hope is for each of us, it’s to come together, and this is a perfect example of that,” she said.
From poverty to voting rights, speakers at the resource fair made it clear Monday that Dr. King’s fight continues five decades later.

“Yes, there’s a lot that has to be done, but on this day, I’m inspired to see all of us coming together,” said Montgomery. “Now let’s do it the rest of the days of the year, and not just on his birthday.”

Conor McCue