Volunteers in Newton assemble hygiene kits, complete other community projects for MLK Day of Service

Volunteers gathered Monday, Jan. 17, at Newton's Shalom Mennonite Church to pack hygiene items...
Volunteers gathered Monday, Jan. 17, at Newton's Shalom Mennonite Church to pack hygiene items for distribution in other parts of the world. The effort was part of MLK Day of Service, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.(KWCH)
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 3:15 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Among many charitable projects completed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a group in Newton gathered to contribute to a good cause at Shalom Mennonite Church.

On the MLK Day of Service, coinciding with the national holiday, volunteers from around the community in Newton put together hygiene kids and completed other volunteer projects to give back.

“I think that one of the greatest ways that we can celebrate Martin Luther King is to have a day of service, because he was a man of great service to the community-at-large, to all peoples,” said Larry Lee with Newton Community for Racial Justice.

Shalom Mennonite Church Pastor Rachel Ringenberg Miller said the volunteer effort is appropriate for a day meant to highlight the importance of coming together.

“I think whenever we give back to others, we’re reminded that we’re all in this world together, that we all need care,” she said. “And doing this just reminds us that we are in this world together.”

The hygiene kits assembled in Newton Monday will go to a variety of places across the globe, including conflict zones, refugee camps, schools and orphanages.

At the First United Methodist Church, volunteers Monday afternoon helped with some upkeep, putting a new coat of paint on the fellowship hall walls.

The MLK Day of Service activities is organized by several groups including Peace Connections, Newton Community for Racial Justice and Kansas Volunteer Commission - which provided the funds for some of the projects.

Kendra Davila, co-director at Peace Connections said today is a way to honor the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and remember those in the Newton community who contributed to making a more inclusive city.

She said, “We stand on the shoulders of giants when we do the work that we do in organizing our community and making a more racially just community and I’m excited to be able to work with so many people across our community to build that together.”

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