Over 60 Washington High School students, community volunteers and educators partnered with GivingPoint and gathered at Booker T. Washington High School, the Alma Mater of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 20th, to reflect on his life and celebrate his message of service to others. The Day of Service, sponsored by State Farm and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, was created to inspire local students to give back in simple ways and create positive change in their community.
Students spent time in groups, rotating to different service learning stations focused on conservation, food access, health and the homeless. While some were picking up trash around the school campus and surrounding neighborhoods, others sorted toiletry items to create hygiene kits for the homeless and the elderly. Students included hand written notes of encouragement and artwork with the hygiene kits, which were later delivered to local nursing homes and homeless shelters, including SafeHouse Outreach and City of Refuge.
Students also focused their service on the environment by creating light switch plates that encouraged people to turn off the lights and conserve electricity. The plates were delivered to local schools and community centers. Volunteers planted herbs and fruit plants as a way to understand the importance of gardening and how they too could grow foods. The pots were painted then delivered to local charity organizations.
Volunteers spent time with Washington High School’s culinary instructor to learn about healthy foods they can make at home with some of the items they were planting. Recipes included salsa, guacamole and bananas with Nutella spread, with a goal to introduce the volunteers to healthier snack options.
Students rounded out the day by participating in yoga instruction from Grounded Yoga, that they could then teach their family and friends, inspiring healthier lifestyles.
“I learned that giving back is easy, and if you’re friends do it with you, it can be really fun,” a freshman student said during the reflection at the end of the day.
“I realized how important volunteering is and that anyone can do it anytime,” one student said. “We can all help other people.”