DES MOINES, Iowa — A local congregation is looking for community help in getting a head start on honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“One of the things that is important is we don’t want to just talk about it we want to be about it. The opportunity is to do that on Saturday here in the commons area where we will package meals that will predominantly stay in this community,” said Brian Brown, campus pastor at the Hope+Elim Church in Des Moines.

Hope+Elim Church will be hosting a day of service on Saturday ahead of its MLK Day celebration event on Monday. They hope to package hundreds of meals for the community Saturday morning.

The church along University Avenue in Des Moines has partnered with Meals from the Heartland to host the event in two separate shifts beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Brown says serving the community can reach across cultures, races, and ethnicity. He also says Dr. King believed a quality education was a way to lift up struggling communities. In honor of that, the group will also need help creating care packages for Des Moines Public School District educators.

Brown said, “He spoke of the blueprint of life and it included education but also included honoring those serving our young people in the education environment. Yes, he was a man of God, a teacher, preacher but also someone who understood the importance of someone with an education and being prepared no matter what your skin color is.”

To sign up for a volunteer position just go to www.LutheranChurchofHope.org and click on the Hope+Elim icon. The meals will be given out to the community on Wednesday, January 18th.

The celebration service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is held at the Hope+Elim church on 2500 University Avenue. It is free to the community and will feature guest speaker Sam Acho who is a former NFL player and current ESPN sports analyst and published author. The event is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Monday, January 16.