Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT Eastside Connections School third-grader Jillian Bruckner, left, and second-grader Mehgan Waggoner take a break from hanging disaster awareness flyers Monday morning in Niles.
Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT
Eastside Connections School third-grader Jillian Bruckner, left, and second-grader Mehgan Waggoner take a break from hanging disaster awareness flyers Monday morning in Niles.

Archived Story

Eastside students volunteer in honor of MLK Jr. Day

Published 8:49am Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Although Monday was a day off for many people, it was a “day on” for approximately 75 Eastside Connections School students, parents and teachers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The volunteers spent a better part of the morning canvasing the neighborhood around Eastside with disaster awareness door hangers in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. They also talked with residents about ways they can get involved with their local Red Cross chapter.

Sixth-grader Ryan Kosten, 12, was one of many passing out flyers.

“I decided to come out with my family because we feel that Mr. Luther King did something good and he wasn’t doing it for him — he was doing it to help others,” Kosten said.

The MLK Day of Service event was in collaboration with Ameri Corp. and the American Red Cross.

Keera Morton, an Eastside kindergarten teacher, organized the event. She spent a year with Ameri Corp. before becoming a teacher a year ago.

“We talked about making our day off a day on,” Morton said. “Since everyone has the day off this is a good way to give back to the community.

“I used to be an Ameri Corp. member with Red Cross so this is something that is really important to me. It was always one of my dreams to spend a year of my life doing public service.”

Morton served as a volunteer coordinator with the American Red Cross through Ameri Corp.

“I just wanted to get my new home — Eastside — involved too,” Morton said.

A total of 76 teachers, parents and students signed up to participate in the day of service.

Many other schools, organizations and businesses across the country participated in the MLK Day of Service.

People can support those in the local community affected by disaster by making a donation to the Red Cross of Berrien and Van Buren Counties by going to redcross.org/southwestmichigan or calling (269) 556-9619.

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