On Monday, January 21st, the Pennsauken Education Association honored the life and mission of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by hosting an inclusive, community-wide Day of Service event at H.M. Phifer Middle School.

Students, community members, and PEA faculty and staff gathered in the Phifer Middle School gymnasium at 11 am to fill 300 care packages with socks and various toiletries they had been collecting since November. PEA’s Day of Service event was one of the many PRIDE in Public Education activities organized by the association each year for the purpose of building strong bonds between the Pennsauken Public Schools and the community.

Steven Wallace, a teacher and wrestling coach at Pennsauken High School, always welcomes opportunities to give back to the community. His wrestlers were among the hundreds who worked their way around the gymnasium, stopping at tables with soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant, and putting those items in bags donated by Republic Bank, a co-sponsor of the event.

Also among the crowds were members of the Phifer Step Team and their coach, teacher Julie Johnson; the PHS Latino Cultures Club, led by Lina Cabrera; and the Charity Chicks, a group of young community members–led by one of PEA’s Pride Chairs, Tara Aviles–who organize and participate various service projects each month.

PEA President Fatimah Hayes and PRIDE co-chair Sue Fuir were thrilled with the event’s turnout and thankful to everyone who chose to honor Dr. King’s legacy by making this Day of Service a day ON, not a day off.

The care packages from today’s event will be distributed to P.A.T.H. (Providing Assistance to the Homeless), an organization in Camden that provides literacy programs, general and mental health services, nutrition counseling, life skills training, substance abuse counseling, and housing counseling and placements to citizens in need.

 

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