Our Martin Luther King Jr. Kickoff Celebration and Day of Service were a huge success. Our Kickoff Celebration was held on Sunday January 20th at Newton High School. 100 people gathered for music and motivation. The night started off with guest speaker Bob Jones, Sparta high school teacher, speaking on modern day forms of successful non-violence. People in attendance were moved by his speech and it set the night off on the right foot. After Bob Jones’ speech Newton high school alum, Scott Paul and his band the Parlay stepped on stage. Scott and his band rocked the crowd for the remainder of the night and it was an overwhelming success. Mini-service projects were going on throughout the night. We made Valentine’s Day cards for seniors, Letter Books for after-school programs, letters to female soldiers and quilt squares to be made into quilts for soldiers overseas.
Our MLK Day of Service was an equal success. Volunteers met at Newton High School at 8 a.m. to be bused and carpooled to S. 17th St. Elementary School in Newark NJ. Over 40 volunteers came out on their day of from school to serve at the school where murals were painted and the school was beautified. The day was incredibly inspiring. To see young students serve with such enthusiasm so early in the morning on their day off moved all of us.
Paint, brushes and all other materials were donated to us and we had an abundance of local support. We ended the project with painting our hands and putting our hand-prints on the stage in the cafeteria. We were so lucky to have the S. 17th St. School Student Council working with us as well. At the end of the day we all met and reflected on the day. Every volunteer had something positive to say and they all said they would return and serve again next year. It’s days like this that really confirm why we do what we do; everyone loves to serve and we are so lucky to have the power to give teens the opportunity to do so.
“Life’s most urgent and persistent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”- MLK