On Monday, Jan. 19, Germantown Friends School participated in the 20th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, featuring more than 32 community service projects and the annual James and Dorothy Bristol Peace and Social Justice speaker Brian Jones, educator, writer, historian and community builder.
“Social justice needs to become the norm and a way of life, and not just a movement … because movements come and go,” said Jones, a teacher at Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, an alternative school that helps urban young people continue their education and earn a GED.
“Today is a day to pay attention to our intentions,” said Director of Community Involvement Kathy Paulmier, who has organized the day at GFS for 20 years and developed one of the most active sites in the city.
People from GFS, Germantown and around the Philadelphia-area came to pick up litter from the streets, make food for people in need at neighboring Holsey Temple, Whosoever Gospel Mission, Covenant House and St. Luke’s food pantry, and hike into the city parks to clear out invasive species. It is estimated that 135,000 Philadelphians join the Day of Service annually, with more than 500 volunteers participating in GFS-organized projects yesterday.
“We really look forward to it every year,” said GFS parent Katie Scrivner. “It’s a really special thing to be a part of.”