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Cherry Hill schools celebrate Martin Luther King Day of Service

Youth from preschool to high school participate in first week of service

The Cherry Hill West Community Service Club teamed with Cardz for Kidz on Jan. 19 to make inspiring cards for children, families, seniors and veterans, part of the club’s first week of service inspired by the Martin Luther King Day of Service.
(Special to The Sun)

Throughout Cherry Hill Public Schools, students at Cherry Hill schools found ways to participate in the Martin Luther King Day of Service on Jan. 17. 

At Barclay Early Childhood Centers, students created Valentine’s Day cards for seniors at Promedica Care. At Cooper Elementary, students assembled hygiene kits at home for distribution to local homeless shelters. 

Cherry Hill East’s Interact Club held its annual Unity Day on Jan. 14, with guest speakers Kyra and Melissa Holiday offering insight into the LGBTQ population. That was followed by time for reflection and discussion.

We had incredibly open and honest discussions about feelings of disenfranchisement inside and outside of the school, and how we can improve things,” explained one of the club’s advisors, Deborah Barr.

Interact teamed with the Jewish Family and Children’s Service at the Katz JCC to put together kits for cancer patients, though distribution will be postponed until spring in the hope that COVID cases will go down. 

Cherry Hill West’s Community Service Club kicked off its first week of helping others on Jan. 18, in honor of the MLK Day of Service. Club advisor and Spanish teacher Julie Schneider said the suggestion to hold a week-long event came from Aziza Ben Abdallah, a club member and student at West. 

Club students participated in a variety of service projects to benefit the community on the holiday. While they officially took place after school, many of the projects could also be done at home and brought to school for delivery. One had students making meat and cheese sandwiches for the Cathedral Kitchen in Camden on the 18th. 

The next day, the Community Service Club teamed with the Cardz for Kidz Club to make uplifting cards for children, families, seniors and veterans in hospitals, schools, senior living and rehabilitation centers.

The week will conclude with the making of kits for the homeless. The Community Service Club is providing items to make 100 kits for Unforgotten Haven that will include toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, hand warmers, hand sanitizer, lotion, lip balm, shampoo, conditioner and snacks.

Thanks to fundraising by its previous advisor, the club had enough money to purchase materials for the kits.

“It’s really important to me that if (students) want to do service, they don’t have to donate or they don’t have to have money to do that,” Schneider noted. “It’s great if they can, and sometimes people are looking to be able to, so we give that opportunity … but I’m really excited about this one.”

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