Fraternity pays it forward for MLK Day

By El Paso Inc. staff / photos provided by Theta Delta Lambda Jan 15, 2024

Through their Pay it Forward initiative, members of Theta Delta Lambda helped 58 families with their grocery purchases Saturday to honor Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

The group, a chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., purchased $2,900 worth of groceries for El Pasoans at a Walmart in Northeast El Paso.

“At first, some of them were in shock and disbelief. Is this a prank? Is it serious?” said Perry Kerney Jr., the fraternity chaplain. “When you are blessing people and doing random acts of kindness, people are skeptical. But once they realize it’s real, they’re smiling. A veteran, I’ll never forget, he saluted me. We had families hugging.”

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. is the oldest intercollegiate fraternity established for African Americans. Among its most notable members was King, the civil rights leader.

“I’m grateful we were able to double the number of families we were able to help this year,” Kerney said. “We look forward to helping more families next year.”