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Lower Merion School District

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LMSD Hosts Annual MLK Afternoon of Service

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”

With those words in mind, it would be fair to say that hundreds of great people – students, parents, faculty, staff and community members – recently gathered at Harriton High School to participate in the annual MLK Afternoon of Service, a fun-filled, District-wide affair with a two-fold mission: to celebrate the life and works of the great civil rights leader and to help serve those-in-need!

In another pertinent quote, Dr. King asks: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” With that question in mind, what did all of these great volunteers actually do for others at this year’s event?

Student organizations and parent-volunteers from the Home & School Associations (HSA) arranged an array of service projects supporting a wide range of estimable non-profits and the causes they champion.

  • Gladwyne's HSA collected/sorted toiletries and created cards for Broad St. Ministries, which provides access to life-sustaining services for 7,000+ individuals-in-need in Philadelphia each year.
  • Merion's HSA created animal toys for the Providence Animal Shelter and Morris Animal Refuge, a pair of animal welfare organizations committed to saving (animal) lives and finding positive and humane outcomes for animals-in-need.
  • Harriton’s National Honor Society (NHS) put together snack bags and wrote kind and encouraging notes for patients at the Ronald McDonald House, which supports families of children undergoing difficult medical treatments. The NHS also joined the Environmental Club in creating bottle bird feeders and holding a glass collection for Bottle Underground.
  • Harriton’s HSA made thank you cards for staff at the Children’ Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • Cynwyd's HSA collected and sorted baby items for the Maternity Care Coalition, which provide services to pregnant women and families with children ages 0-3.
  • Penn Valley’s HSA organized a winter clothes and shoe collection for Cradles to Crayons, a non-profit with a simple goal: to make life better for children-in-need.
  • Participants in this year’s Dr. Harriton fundraiser created no-sew blankets for oncology patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • Harriton’s buildOn club held a bake sale raising money to fight the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations.
  • Harriton’s Physics and Math clubs put together and decorated puzzle and game bags for the Parkinson’s Council, an organization dedicated to improving quality of life for people with Parkinson’s, care partners and families-in-need.
  • Harriton’s Service League made cards for The Girls School in Pakistan.
  • Harriton Student Council made goody bags for patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • Harriton’s Technology Student Association (TSA) held a toy collection for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), a non-profit dedicated to saving Philadelphia’s homeless and at-risk pets
  • The LMHS HSA made care packages and cards for The Philadelphia Anti-Violence Project, which provides a wide range of intervention, prevention and support services to victims of violence and/or have lost a loved one to homicide.
  • The LMHS Student Council organized a fundraiser benefiting The Ronald McDonald House. Students also made worry dolls for children undergoing treatment at the Philadelphia facility.
  • The Welsh Valley HSA created kindness cups for the homeless shelters in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who worked to make this year's Afternoon of Service a tremendous success and to all of the students, parents and community members who came out to support the event! To view a slideshow with pictures from the event, click below!

Four smiling students stand arm-in-arm as they pose for a picture
A pair of smiling students work on an activity
Four buildOn students smile for the camera while working at their table
A happy family of four smiles as they hold up their cups
A box of donations for local animal shelters
Two young students work on an activity at the Afternoon of Service
Three smiling parent-volunteers
Four smiling students, one of which is dressed like an ancient Greek, pose for a picture
A parent-volunteer sits at the station for card-making for CHOP
A pair of students work on an activity at the afternoon of service
A smiling family of five work on an activity at the afternoon of service
Students busily work on activity at the afternoon of service
A sign that reads: Care packages to benefit the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia
Four smiling students pose for a photo
A smiling student works on an activity at the Afternoon of Service
Two smiling student-volunteers at the Afternoon of Service
Six students pose for a picture
Students line the tables in the Harriton cafeteria as they work on a variety of activities
A student makes a bracelet at the afternoon of service
A student focuses intently as she wields a pen for her project
A trio of smiling Belmont Hills students
A high school student works at the no-sew blanket station
High school and elementary students work side by side
Two elementary school students work on an activity
Four adult-volunteers, one of which is holding a Teachers' Teammates sign, pose for a photo
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Shawanna James-Coles and Director of School & Community Relations Amy Buckman
A smiling student works on a no-sew blanket
A parent volunteer caught smiling while working on a bracelet
A smiling student works on a no-sew blanket
Smiling students make no-sew blankets
Harriton POWER Scholars and Mr. Bantoe pose for a picture
A stoic student-volunteer
An elementary student focuses on the task at hand
The front of the Martin Luther King Day of Service shirts
Director of School & Community Relations Amy Buckman, Superintendent Dr. Steve Yanni & Shawanna James-Coles, DEIB Director
Four representatives from the Physics Club pose for a picture
Four student-volunteers pose for a pic
A photograph of a student-photographer
Two elementary students work on an activity
Parent volunteers pose for a picture
Harriton Physics Club selling puzzles as a fundraiser
A student does an on-camera interview
Elementary school students work on an activity
Stacks of shirts made to be donated
A student works on an activity at the Afternoon of Service
The Harriton cafeteria filled with students and parents working on activities
Volunteers work together at a table
Elementary students chat as they work on an activity
A pair of high school students smile for a picture as they move a box
Student-volunteers smile as they move boxes of donations
Four smiling students welcome guests as they arrive for the event

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