Martin Luther King Jr Day, a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday in January is more than just a day off from school. In an effort to give back and raise awareness, this date is now considered a “Day On, not a Day Off” thanks to an initiative that began in 2017.
Last year, a group of Wall Township students and residents kicked off the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. The event was a tremendous success, gathering gently used clothing that would benefit hundreds of people and collecting roughly 1,100 lbs. of food, as well as diapers, wipes, and pet supplies for those in need. On Monday, January 15, 2018, Wall Township volunteers will host the second annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service from 9 a.m. until noon at the Wall Intermediate School cafeteria.
Billed as a “day on, not a day off,” the event will include clothing, food, diaper and pet supply drives to benefit area charities. The event is sponsored by Wall Intermediate School National Junior Honor Society. Participation in the event is open to all community members, parents and students. During the event, organizers are requesting that participants drop off:
- Nonperishable food items (peanut butter, pasta, rice, canned goods, etc.)
- New or gently used clothing
- Disposable diapers and baby wipes
- Pet supplies (canned and dry food, toys, clean used towels and sheets, etc.)
A drop-off box is also available at Wall Intermediate School between January 5 and January 12 during school hours. The drive will benefit the following local nonprofit organizations: Manasquan Food Pantry, Child Care Resources of Monmouth County, Your Grandmother’s Cupboard, Pick Your Paw Rescue, and Associated Humane Societies.
The event, which launched in 2017, gives students and community members an opportunity to perform acts of service and give back to the community on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The first annual event collected more than 150 bags of clothing; 1,100 lbs. of food; 1600+ diapers; and carloads of pet supplies, which were donated to area charities.
Volunteers are also needed for the day of the event. If students, residents or groups are interested in collecting items for the event or volunteering the day of, please contact Doreen Gerber at firstname.lastname@example.org. For donations, information or other matters, contact Gwen Moran email@example.com or Jeanne Dispenza at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Student volunteers from the 2017 Wall Township Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service collected more than 150 bags of clothing and nearly 1,100 lbs. of food, among other items for people, families and pets in need.