School Students Serve Community on Martin Luther King Day

HMS Richards Adventist School makes an impact through signs, prayers, and songs.

Kari Lange, Rocky Mountain Conference, and Adventist Review
<strong>School Students Serve Community on Martin Luther King Day</strong>
Students in Grades 5 and 6 from HMS Richards Adventist School went to downtown Loveland to hold up signs of encouragement on street corners as a way of connecting with the community. [Photo: HMS Richards Adventist School]

Students at HMS Richards Adventist School, located in Loveland, Colorado, United States, celebrated Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 16, 2023, by taking half the school day to serve others in their community.

First- and second-grade students delivered about 50 handwritten border sheets with verses of encouragement in the nearby neighborhood. Those who came to the door were greeted with, “Happy MLK Day and Peace Begins with Me.” Each person they met was shocked to see 20 students at their door and so thankful and appreciative of their time. 

Some first- and second-grade students joined with grades 3-4 and were transported to Berthoud to sing praise songs to downtown businesses and pass out more border sheets with Bible verses of peace and hope. The students received a huge round of applause at a local restaurant as their voices echoed through the restaurant, singing, “You Are My All in All.” Another business was about to close, but the employees were happy to let them come in to sing. As the students left, a young man expressed how much he needed to hear the song the students sang. 

At a local salon business, the owner sang along with the students, singing every word of “Jesus Loves Me.”  The women at the salon listened with great smiles. Workers at a local pharmacy were in awe and thankful for the music. It was a blessed day not only for the students but for all the chaperones as well.

Students in grades 5-6 went to downtown Loveland to hold up signs of encouragement on street corners and pray with people passing by. They got positive honks, cheers, and many thank-yous. Students Tryg Sorensen and Conner Jahn prayed with a homeless veteran in a wheelchair. The man then talked to Roger Hagen, a chaperone, and said he would like a hardcover KJV Bible. Roger has a Bible ready to give to him when he sees him again.

Students in grades 7-8 gave away free hot cocoa and handmade ornaments at a local supermarket. Carey Jordan, the school’s teaching principal, commented, “So many people were surprised when we offered them our handmade snowflakes. They couldn’t believe that seventh and eighth graders were giving them a kind word of encouragement and a gift without expecting anything in return.”

Some people tried to donate money, but students turned it down knowing that this was a special day, a day to give to the community, not take from it. Some comments of those who came by their table were, “Wow! Thank you! True kindness like yours comes only from God,” and “If it wasn’t too awkward, I would give you a big hug,” as stated by an older woman with tears in her eyes to one of the students.

“Martin Luther King Jr. wanted everyone to know how special they are and that it is our Christian responsibility to help people know that,” student Elin Sorensen said. “Today, we showed people the true purpose for MLK Day in our words and actions.”

Student Ben Nelson agreed. “I realized that today we made the world a better place by showing kindness,” he said. “We didn’t deliver a speech to thousands of people today, but we did bring a smile to their faces, which in turn makes the world a better place.”

“We chose to share kindness to everyone, even if they didn’t accept it.… That is love,” student Grace Balbin said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Rocky Mountain Conference news site.

Kari Lange, Rocky Mountain Conference, and Adventist Review