A community resource for over half a century in Erie’s West Bayfront neighborhood got a visit from Loving Giving Local.

Erie’s Martin Luther King Center opened its doors in 1969.

Its mission has been to provide local residents much needed programs like childcare, educational classes, and social services; 53 years later, the MLK Center is doing that.

Each day over the summer, about 80 local children come to the center for breakfast, lunch, constructive activity, and supervision. They do art projects, play games, and get some time in the gymnasium to keep them moving.

While there is always plenty of fun in the gymnasium, there’s a lot of learning going on in the computer lab. Each young person has a laptop to use during their time in the computer lab.

There was even a big, outdoor event.

“They had a great carnival out front where they invited the neighborhood and community kids. It lasted all day. There were fun games and activities for the kids in the community to do,” said Johnny Johnson, MLK Center board member.

The Neighborhood Center also provides opportunities for area seniors and proved to be a community asset during the pandemic.

“Very important and still doing it now. COVID testing here is every Thursday. Anybody who wants to get a COVID test can come here and get tested for COVID,” Johnson said.

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Johnson said the Loving Giving Local donation will go towards the youth programs at the center.

“For us to bring Loving Giving Local to the Martin Luther King Center and to know this money is going to stay right here in the community, to support a youth program, this center has been giving back for over 50 years, and that’s what Loving Giving Local is all about,” said Joe Askins, Auto Express Resale Center.