Students from Waynesville School District could be found all over Waynesville and St. Robert throughout the day Friday volunteering their time for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.


Students from Waynesville School District could be found all over Waynesville and St. Robert throughout the day Friday volunteering their time for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service has a unique history, beginning with the struggle to have King’s birthday declared a federal holiday.

King’s birthday was made a federal holiday in 1983 after 15 years of trying by various representatives and in 1994 Congress designated the day as a national day of service making it a “day on, not a day off.”

In the spirit of the “day on,” Waynesville students made themselves useful in many different ways.

Students visited local nursing homes, senior centers, animal shelters and Good Samaritan Resource Center performing all kinds of services.

At the animal shelters, the students put together gift bags for the dogs when they are adopted that included items such as chew toys the students made themselves, treat bags and an adoption certificate.

The students were also able to walk the dogs and spend some time with them which is always something the shelter staff can use help with.
At Good Samaritan Resource Center, the students were able to help in the food pantry and in the Thrift Store.

Students helped clear out a store room, clean, make one room ready for a remodeling project, prepare items to be put out in the store and hang several racks of clothes.

Good Samaritan Thrift Store manager Shirley Mitchell said, “They worked so hard today.”

VISTA volunteer Gloria Bradford, who worked with the students at Good Samaritan, said, “I’m so proud of them.”

Additionally, students worked on service projects in the middle school gym creating many useful items for various institutions and organizations.

The middle school gym was filled with students rotating from station to station working on such useful items as door snakes which are intended to keep the draft out from under doors, creating recipe cook books for students to carry home for the “Snack in a Pack” program, creating oatmeal recipe bags that “Snack in a Pack” students could take home for their families to cook, creating toiletry kits so that new Genesis House residents can have essential items such as shampoo, creating flash cards and book marks to help younger children learn essential skills and making scarves that will be distributed for those in need at Genesis House, Good Samaritan and students within the school system.