From Community Service: A Day "On" by Sandi MacQuinn
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.
I graduated from high school in 1968 in the Pacific Northwest. We were a bit behind the times up there, and although news of all the upheaval and societal changes had of course been of much discussion, the full heat of the issues wracking the civil rights movement felt far from the small town concerns in my high school.
A small group of us on the school newspaper staff followed Martin Luther King's call for integrity and dignity, supported by a politically deft advisor. My church group was led by a young minister who brought us King's words to read and discuss. And King's face was often in the newspaper that my grandfather kept at the morning breakfast table. But I found many other activities and interests to occupy my high school mind, and until King's death I did not realize how central his ideas were becoming to me. His shocking assassination brought all of America to the realization that his powerful words of hope and healing were highly threatening to some. I believe my "true education" began somewhere in the stretch between John Kennedy's shooting (I still think of him as MY president) and the anguish of realizing that Dr. King too, had been shot. A lot of us vowed to remember him and continue his work wherever we found ourselves in the future. I suspect you had some of the same thoughts.
Nobles has been commemorating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. for almost a decade by gathering a group of those who have the day to give, and going out on site to serve other people. It is a busy time of year, that is true. It is a day that comes at a needed time of rest, and it is vital to the health of our children that we spend quality time with them whenever we can. You will know what is best for you and your family. But: if you would like to think about your family day off from school as a day "ON" of service, we have been quietly planning to honor Dr. King's admonition that “the time is always right to do the right thing” by setting up some sites for you to visit with your family to help make lives better in the Boston area. You can even choose to come and help us here at Nobles for a part of the day as we sort clothing and toys for Boston kids through "Cradles to Crayons."
Part of the best education we can offer our children is to help them see beyond the cares and activities of their daily life into the genuine needs of our own local population who are cold, hungry, or needing to know they are not alone. In the next weeks, Linda Hurley and I will send you more information about the sites you can choose from. We hope that you will join us. When you get the email, talk with your family about whether it would be a good day for educating both heart and mind. You will hear from us soon.
Happy holidays to all of you.
Sandi MacQuinn and Linda Hurley