January 21st we celebrate Martin Luther King Day.  It is a beacon day, whose light slices through all the jibber-jabber of our times and illuminates the fact that King, a Baptist minister and a civil rights activist, elevated and forever changed life in America. What's more, he continues to change lives.

Hundreds of thousands of people freely turn a vacation day, into a service day — volunteering their time, dollars and hearts to help others.  We encourage you to do the same by choosing to volunteer at a local non-profit organization, or by participating in one of these celebratory local events:

Sunday, January 20th:  Media Fellowship House will hold its 30th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Sunday, January 20, 2019. In addition to the traditional music and a keynote address by distinguished guest Anita Friday on Suspicion…Why and What Cost?, two additions will be made to last year's honor role of 12 Spirit Award Winners. Nominations are listed online whom which will be selected 2 honorees. Voting will end on January 9th, 2019. bios of nominees and to vote, visit /www.mediafellowshiphouse.org.

Monday, January 21st:  Since 2002 Haverford College Coach, Bobbi Morgan has spearheaded a  basketball clinic for kids in first through eighth grades. Proceeds benefit families in need of shelter, services, and day care facilities.  All donations, including non-perishable foods, support the Community Action Agency of Delaware County's Life Center. To register call 610-446-9397 or email bmorgan@haverford.edu.  The clinics are 9:30am to noon.  Registration is $30 per child (and $20 for each sibling after that).

Monday, January 21st: 8 to 9:30am at the Drexelbrook Catering & Special Event Center
This breakfast honors the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with mingling, great food and the awarding of student essays. Delaware County Community College President, Dr. L. Joy Gates Black will be the keynote speaker and music will be provided by the Bible Union Fellowship Choir. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or toiletries to donate to the County's  shelter and food bank. It is hosted by the Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, Upper Darby Community Outreach Corporation, as well as local churches and area schools.

It’s widely known that one of  King's biggest inspirations in his belief in non-violent activism was Mahatma Gandhi.
But who inspires you?

Here are 3 Delaware County residents who have achieved great things. 

Tina Fey, portrait by local artist George Rothacker
You are never too young or too old to explore your inner performer.  Tina Fey began her career as a young child performing at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center...and at 48 years old, she’s just hitting her stride!

Tina Fey is a hugely successful writer, actress & producer who 
was born and raised in Upper Darby.  She attended Cardinton Stonehurst Elementary School, Beverly Hills Middle School, and graduated from Upper Darby High School. 

With more than a dozen Emmy nominations, Tina has already won 3 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing and Acting, and performed on what has been called 'one of the greatest TV series of all time,' 30 Rock. Her charity work is also inspiring, supporting the Alliance for Children's Rights, the Alzheimer's Association, Autism Speaks and the Children's Health Fund.

Impact the lives of people in our own community, like Thomas Garrett did in the 18th Century...his bravery helped change history.

Thomas Garrett, portrait by local artist George Rothacker
Thomas Garrett, born in 1789, was an American abolitionist and leader in the Underground Railroad movement before the American Civil War. The family home, Thornfield, where he lived until 1822, still stands in Drexel Hill and is recorded on the national Register of Historic Places.

In a Quaker family already inclined towards abolitionism, Thomas became especially dedicated after a family servant was kidnapped by a man who planned to sell the woman as a slave in the South. While building a prosperous iron and hardware business, he also served as stationmaster on the last stop of the Underground Railroad, the pathway to the North for blacks seeking freedom from slavery. Facing heavy fines for his activities, Garrett continued his mission until the Civil War ended. He is known for having assisted 2500 slaves to freedom.

If you love gardens, and the arts...you've been touched by the life of  Philanthropist, Dorrance (DoDo) Hill Hamilton.   

Wayne's Dorrance Hill Hamilton,
portrait by local artist George Rothacker
Here's an example of how  volunteers, land and garden organizations, and residents helped save our newest garden in Wayne:

After an unprecedented six-month-long battle, Stoneleigh: A Natural Garden is no longer at risk of being developed. Last year this stunning 42-acre public garden in Villanova was rescued by the Natural Lands Organization, our massive garden community of volunteers and staff, plus local residents who fought off an attempt to seize the Garden via eminent domain, and develop it for other purposes.

If this inspires you to support environmental projects, then Dorrance would be very pleased. She, like Stoneleigh Gardens, resided in Wayne. A huge supporter of local gardens and horticulture, she was an annual participant in the Philadelphia Flower Show, and fostered the horticulture program at Williamson College of the Trades, in Media.

Read more about these and 50 other inspiring local residents on our website: Celebrated People of Delaware County