While the wind was blowing and the weather was very brisk, on Saturday, January 20th, 2018, Twenty (20) Omega men from the Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, gathered in an effort to support the Epsilon Alpha Adopt-A-Highway Project. Adopt-A-Highway is a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) program designed to help keep the state’s highway roadsides clean and attractive. Adopt-A-Highway succeeds by encouraging residents/businesses to help combat the ever–increasing problem of littering by “adopting” a County road or highway. In exchange, for cleaning their adopted area four (4) times in a calendar year volunteers/volunteer organization receive a sign of recognition put at the beginning of each end of their adopted area.
The Epsilon Alpha Adopt-A-Highway Project, also helps to keep Tarrant County cleaner and healthier, saves taxpayer dollars, promotes local community involvement, promotes civic responsibility and pride, and provides recognition for individuals, organizations, and companies. Community members and grade school students were invited to participate (often to acquire mandated volunteer hours) and also fellowship with members of Epsilon Alpha and the community. The Epsilon Alpha Adopt-A-Highway Project is an ongoing effort headed by the Committee Chairmen of Brother Clarence Brooks and Brother Teddy Jones. Brother Teddy Jones stated:
“CB (Clarence Brooks) and I wanted to think of ways Epsilon Alpha could make a bigger impact in the community, give back more, and something that hopefully would start a legacy. So, when CB thought of participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program, it was a no brainer, especially since both of us had run a similar program at our previous chapters. I knew that littering was serious business and It is something that unfortunately is a big problem, giving the size and depth of our great state of Texas.
Adopt-A-Highway was something that we knew could turn into a great chapter tradition, because every adopted mile in Texas equals savings, and the more the state saves, the more they hopefully will have to fund the education of students across the state, like the ones out here with us today.”
Epsilon Alpha’s has a goal of collecting over 40 bags of trash each year and maintaining a clean and attractive environment. During this outing, fifteen (15) large garbage bags were collected by the side of the Epsilon Alpha two (2) mile stretch, along Highway FM 1187 and East Rendon Crowley Road, in Burleson, TX.
This year marked the 50th anniversary, since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lost his life to an assassin's bullet in Memphis, Tennessee. Shot down and silenced on April 4, 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to speaking out against injustice, inequality, poverty and war. Museums and other cultural institutions are planning special programming to mark both the King Day of Service on Monday and the day of his assassination. The great men of the North Texas Omegas of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., which is comprised of all chapters in Dallas and Tarrant County, Texas; wouldn’t have it any different, as they continue to be a beacon of their cardinal principals of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift, on this memorable, but somber occasion, by walking in the 2018 MLK March Parade and Rally in Fort Worth.
“While many see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as a day off, we see it as a “day on.” It’s an opportunity to start the year off in the correct way, which is having and exhibiting the spirit of service and selflessness, in which Dr. King displayed throughout his various works and his life” stated David Washington, as he proudly walked holding the Omicron Gamma Gamma Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. banner.
“Dr. King was an outstanding leader and a great man, and being able to give back and do my part to keep his dream and his story alive with the next generation, I feel it is part of my duty and responsibility stated Bro. Victor Norris” as he proudly walked holding the Epsilon Alpha Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. banner.
“I am honored to be able to have the opportunity to walk down this street and have a celebration of Dr. King’s life. Everyone out here, is not the same they may be Jew or Gentile, but it is a blessing for us to be able to worship and celebrate in the same space without fear of retaliation or violence.” Those were the words spoken by, Bro. Stacy Boyd, as he proudly walked holding the Epsilon Alpha Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. banner.
The parade began at Ninth and Commerce Streets, headed west on Ninth Street, north on Houston Street, east on Weatherford Street, and south on Main Street, before ending with a rally in Sundance Square Plaza.
MLK Day, as it is affectionately known and referred to in many communities, is a federal and school holiday, but more importantly, it has become an annual Day of Service celebrated across the country. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day of growth, strength, perseverance, equality, and reflectiveness. It is strongly believed that “unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word”, like Dr. King said many years ago. This can be shown and continue to be made a reality in many ways. The Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. along with the North Texas Metroplex Omegas, honored the memory and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by volunteering to improve not only the community, but the fabric of it.
This was exhibited, as the spirited men of Omega, participated in one of their namesake projects entitled “Helping Hands”. Helping Hands are project-based activities, in which the men of Omega use their hands to help out others in many ways. Past projects undertaken on MLK Day of Service have included tutoring elementary school students, upgrading school classrooms and resource centers, painting, landscaping and remodeling houses for low-income families and homeowners, and giving away coats and clothing. They believe that small changes can have a huge impact within their own neighborhood.
The activity chosen for MLK Day 2018 was passing out nourishing, warm meals and water, to the homeless and people in need. The men of Omega pulled up with truck loads, organizing quickly to make sure to meet the needs of the masses. People from all walks of life came from all over and were blessed and pleased that someone cared. This activity was conducted in a safe, large, green-environment area, across from Unity Park in Fort Worth, TX. This area had plenty of space to sit and eat, and enjoy and reflect on the day and to be appreciative for the diversity of company and comradeship that this meal could be shared with.