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Service Board’s Project Linus

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” The Upper School continues to honor the memory of Dr. King through a variety of service activities. On Monday, members of Service Board and Latin Club gathered with students from Wellington and Brookwood Academy to make blankets for Project Linus, a nationwide organization that distributes blankets to children in need.

“We’ve been intermittently involved with Project Linus for about eight or nine years,” recalls Mrs. Bening, faculty sponsor to the Service Board, and chair of the Service Department. A number of years ago, the Upper School actually had two Service Days, the second of which was in April and on campus. “Given the hectic nature of the end of the year, the day became too much of a hindrance, so it was removed,”says Bening. The Service Board has worked hard to make up for the loss of in-school service opportunities for students, and Project Linus is one of its answers.

Last year, Latin Club decided to help sponsor the program by bringing the work to the 2012 OJCL convention. Senior Nick Grewal spearheaded these efforts, as a two-time member of the Ohio Junior Classical League (OJCL) board and current 1st Vice President. Serving as Southeast/Central Gubernator last year, Grewal was in charge of OJCL’s annual Make A Difference Day (MADD) initiative in his region. Each Gubernator sponsors a MADD service project, which is open to all schools in his or her region.

“We felt it would be a good idea to start blankets for MADD and then bring them to the convention to be completed,” remarked Grewal, noting there had never been any service component to the OJCL convention itself, but only during MADD, which typically occurs in October.

The idea turned out to be a wild success. “The turnout was overwhelming, to the point that we overflowed out of the room we had reserved into the hallway and additional rooms,” recalled Grewal, who had been concerned about participation beforehand. “In fact, it was so successful, we’ve decided to bring it back this year, and hopefully make it a tradition at OJCL. It would be really cool since this is an opportunity to start a new tradition at the convention, and it came from our school.”

This year, the work has been divided a bit, to continue the practice on on-campus service work. The Lower School will complete about a fourth of the blankets as a part of their Valentine’s Day functions. The Latin Club will use the other portion to support service work at the upcoming 2013 OJCL convention (March 8-10). Once finished, all the blankets will be donated to Project Linus.

While many of their classmates were just rolling out of bed, 28 Upper Schoolers, along with 16 students from Westerville, Wellington, and Brookwood Academy, were hard at work prepping blankets. On a day that most high schoolers simply enjoy as an extension of their weekends, these students took the meaning of the day to heart, and chose to spend the time in a meaningful way that builds on the work of the man we dedicate this day to. Mrs. Bening described this as, “a great way to spend the MLK holiday – a day ON, not a day off.”

Written by Andy Li’13

Photos by Alex LiChen’16


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