Martin Luther King’s vision was one of inclusion and championing service before self. To celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, Suns Legacy Partners staff (Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Footprint Center) teamed up with colleagues from the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Coyotes and Arizona Diamondbacks to bring Dr. King’s vision to life by supporting our community through a day of service.

Echoing Dr. King’s mantra of “volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy… when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in,” participants from Arizona’s professional sports teams spent the day supporting those in need through four unique and simultaneous events around town.

“Dr. King’s dream comes alive through spreading love and giving to our community,” said Kim Corbitt, senior vice president of people & culture, Suns Legacy Partners.

“Coming together as one Arizona team really highlights Dr. King’s vision of unity and spending time together to help people in need is invaluable,” said Amilyn Pierce, vice president of government affairs, Arizona Diamondbacks.

At Free Arts of Arizona, volunteers drew and wrote letters of affirmation to youth that have experienced afflictions. The nonprofit’s mission is to transform trauma into resilience through the arts and each of the organization’s programs is built to help children feel safe, express themselves, build skills, develop self-efficacy and build resilience and hope.

Suns and Mercury employees alongside the Cardinals, Coyotes, and Diamondbacks bundled diapers at the Diaper Bank of Central Arizona (DBCA) to benefit women and children in Arizona living in financial insecurity, temporary housing and domestic violence shelters. Volunteers aided DBCA with their mission to distribute more than one million diapers this year to local nonprofits, providing Arizona families with necessities that in turn can help them work towards success.

“As professional sports teams with large platforms, we have the unique ability to really create impact. When we come together, that impact is unparalleled,” added Rebecca Childress, coordinator of people operations, Arizona Cardinals.

Volunteers at Roosevelt School District helped with gardening, reading and projects at various schools within the district in the Phoenix-Metro area.

“Each of us can do something. The opportunity to spend time with the students in the Roosevelt School District having fun, learning together and supporting one another has been amazing,” added Corbitt. “I look forward to more opportunities for all of the sports teams to partner in our community to make a difference.”

At C.J. Jorgenson Academy of Service, participants read to students, played games with kids and Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez spoke to students at the end of the afternoon.

“This alliance shows we are all together when it comes to leveraging this incredible voice that sports give us to make an impact, especially on the weekend where we honor this great man, Martin Luther King Jr., who used his actions to not only inspire but to really bring about change. What he stood for is everything that we aspire to be as an organization, and the impact that we’ve made on the lives of these young children is something that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives,” said Gutierrez.

Suns Legacy Partners employees helped paint and clean structures and grounds at Eastlake Park two miles east of Footprint Center in Downtown Phoenix. The community area played a central role in the civil rights movement in Arizona as the home to many civil rights rallies, visits from civil rights leaders and was utilized as the starting point of many civil rights marches to the Arizona State Capital. Today, Eastlake Park is home to an annual Juneteenth celebration and the Phoenix Arts Commission Civil Rights Memorial.

“Being able to see the teams visit four organizations throughout the Valley that all support spreading love, connecting to the community, giving back and helping to support and empower kids, has been a small piece of what I think Dr. King wanted to see when he talked about us serving others,” said Corbitt.

“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?’”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.