The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Students volunteer for MLK day

Small Things Matter led a “crafting for charities party,” including bead making, card-making and knitting.

MLK Day stands as a powerful tribute to the remarkable life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent civil rights leader. Many individuals choose to honor his legacy through acts of volunteerism and community service, embodying his spirit of social change.

The week-long service initiative in Montgomery County was kicked off with a grand event at the Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center drawing in over 1500 participants. Simultaneously, smaller gatherings took place across the county.

“This year the focus on MLK Day is the beloved community. MLK had this dream that we would all come together. In that spirit, I decided that I wanted to expand this event, so everyone across the county can unite with their community to celebrate,” Montgomery County Volunteer Center Manager Faith McNiel said.

Participants engaged in various service projects led by local organizations. Everymind, a mental health and wellness organization, set up card-making for senior citizens, as well as assembled homeless survival kits with essential products for those who are struggling. They made over 300 bags that will be distributed through homeless shelters.

“This outpouring of support from this event alone has shown us as an organization that people care and are willing to help, and we hope to extend that to the struggling individuals we work with. We want everyone to know that they are not alone, and things will get better,” Everymind Division Director Renee Nicolosi said.

Another standout organization, Anna’s Gift Foundation, dedicated its efforts to bringing joy and relief to hospitalized kids.

“We have birdhouse kits, braided bracelet kits, pillow-making kits, snowflakes, rock painting, you name it, we will make it. I’d say we made around 600 kits today, that we will later deliver to the Children’s National Hospital. We’re so thankful for all the support,” Anna’s sister, Julia Tomalis, said.

The event also served as a valuable networking opportunity, allowing students to learn about new organizations, speak to community representatives, connect to student leaders, and more. Among the crowd was Blakely Pfaff, Miss Bethesda Teen 2024. Pfaff holds over 400 service hours and regularly supports events like this. “When I walked in here, I was shocked by how many people were here to serve, especially all the smaller children. It’s great that they are so involved,” Pfaff said.

Overall, the event was a source of inspiration as individuals from diverse backgrounds and age groups came together.

“As we go forward, let us reflect on the teachings and work of MLK, striving towards fostering a more inclusive and equitable society,” McNiel said.

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Geetanjali Raju, Online News Editor
Senior Geetanjali Raju is excited to participate in her first year with the pitch as a Online News Editor. In her free time, Geetanjali being active, and going out with friends.
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