By Brian Li (IV)

On Monday, January 21, Pingry hosted its eighth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. In the morning, students, family members, and faculty volunteered for various organizations, including Cancer Support Community, The Sharing Network, and Color a Smile. In 2012, 50 families volunteered during the first MLK Day of Service; this year, over 200 members of the Pingry community participated. Ms. Shelley Hartz, Director of Community & Civic Engagement, created the event after hearing the slogan, “Martin Luther King Day: A day on, not a day off.” She spoke with members of the Pingry School Parents Association (PSPA) and put together a day where “we [invite] other community organizations and provide opportunities for our community to do service for these organizations.” Ms. Hartz also decided to include an informative aspect on “Martin Luther King, social change, and civil rights.” The MLK Day of Service provides the community with a chance to give back and contribute to society. To Ms. Hartz, the best part of the day was seeing students volunteer. “It is very heartening to me when students choose to participate instead of sleeping late. [I am] able to step back and see them having fun while they’re helping another organization.”