Our Voice: We're grateful for those who serve and lead

This week, our country and community honored Martin Luther King Jr. with ceremonies and service to others.

King said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" It's a good question for all of us to ask ourselves. And here are just a few answers.

Good choice

Wayne Martin is an excellent choice for Columbia Basin College's Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award. And the Mid-Columbia is a much better place to live because Martin moved here in 1978.

It's nearly impossible to pin down one major accomplishment, or even narrow it down to several. But we're willing to take a shot at it.

His scientific contribution at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is notable -- and has been recognized. His service in the community on various committees is worthy of praise.

His work to establish the Office of Diversity at Columbia Basin Community College helps the entire community.

Sometimes people are shortsighted in their efforts. Sometimes we are only willing to do something good as long as it results in a direct benefit to us.

Martin's efforts reach far beyond his circle -- which is pretty big to start with.

We're pleased to add our voice of congratulations!

Day of service

According to the MLK Day of Service website, hundreds of thousands of people give service on MLK day and throughout the year.

Some of those service projects are in our community. A group of middle school girls spent Monday helping assemble bags for homeless teens as part of a leadership project.

The Emerging Young Leaders group is a signature program of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and involves about 30 girls in our community.

Usually, when we think of leaders, we think of someone at the head of an organization or the one out in front of the pack.

These future leaders are learning what people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Wayne Martin have already demonstrated -- that leaders lead by serving.

Turning around

Congratulations are in order for Jamie Wilkinson for the courage to change her life. She will be the sixth graduate of Elijah Family Homes in the past seven years.

Our gratitude extends to the people who keep Elijah Family Homes running.

Everyone who has tried to lose weight or stop smoking know that addictive behaviors are difficult to shake, and sometimes it takes several runs at it to be successful.

When the addiction involves drugs and/or alcohol, the stakes are even higher.

We need to be patient with each other and provide ways for people to start over.

The Elijah Family Homes does just that.