Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?
—Martin Luther King
In celebration of Martin Luther King’s life, people across America offered time to do for others this week. In Montgomery County, Maryland, service activities included decorating cards for troops, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for area shelters, and knitting warm winter hats for the homeless.
New Dream staff and volunteers joined in the county’s MLK events by hosting the Me-We mural project, which focused on sharing as service. Students from preschool to high school created self-portraits and attached hand cutouts on which they had written their ideas for sharing with others. Swapping toys and clothes were the most popular suggestions, while “sharing laughter” made everyone giggle and was an instant success.
Students also attached feet cutouts with ideas for reducing their carbon footprint, such as walking more, turning off the lights, and wasting less paper. All the portraits were connected to illustrate how we can do so much more to help others and protect the environment when we work together.
At the center of each portrait, students glued a heart and wrote how sharing makes them feel. Many said they felt happy, good, and wonderful, with one young girl saying she felt, "like she was making a difference." It was clear that sharing is a great way to serve others, and the next generation is ready to take the lead.
Mary Murphy is a New Dream volunteer and Maryland Get2gether Regional Coordinator.