SAN ANTONIO, TX – When thousands of Martin Luther King Jr. Day participants went to approximately three-mile course for the first time in two yearsJanice Brock will be on the sidelines, not only cheering them on.
A resident of the Northeast Side challenged herself to make sure the participants were drinking enough water.
For the past 13 years, she has been collecting donations of water bottles and then giving them away for free to people passing by her table.
“I hope that when I hand them this bottle of water, they will understand that someone cares that they came out to help the march,” she said.
The San Antonio march in honor of civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is considered the largest of its kind in the nation.
However, during the pandemic, the in-person celebration was put on hold due to concerns related to COVID. The organizers held virtual marches in 2021 and 2022.
Brock was in the midst of Christmas and New Year celebrations when she found out about the plans for this year’s MLK Day.
“I said, “Oh my God. It’s a short time,” she said. “I made a couple phone calls at the last minute and look at God!”
As of Thursday before the march, Brock was able to collect about 1,400 bottles of donated water.
However, her goal is to collect enough to feed every marcher.
She says she came up with the idea to set an example for her children and also to follow in the footsteps of the people who came before her.
“I grew up seeing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and all the other people and freedom fighters,” Brock said. “They made a lot of sacrifices.”
She says she hopes her gift of water can cause a ripple effect of people showing kindness to others.
Meanwhile, she already sees some of that kindness coming back to her.
When Brock began her mission, she used the front yard of the house on Martin Luther King Street where her mother lived.
Two other families have owned the house since then and have been generous to her when it comes to using the space.
“They let me come and use their yard,” she said. “They told me you would never have to ask again. You already know it’s yours.”
If you’re going to the march this year, you can find Brock at the 3200 block of Martin Luther King Street.
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