DOWNEY - More than 100 students from Downey High School's KIWIN'S club, Sussman and East middle schools' Builders Clubs and Gauldin Elementary's K-Kids Club paid tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. last week by participating in service projects.Sixty students and their parents took part in Operation Feed the Needy, volunteering at the Midnight Mission kitchen and helping to feed 800 homeless people. "Martin Luther King stood for helping everybody so we must do the same in his honor without complaining or making excuses," said Brenda Lopez, president of Downey KIWIN'S. The club took a bus from Downey High School to the shelter in Downtown Los Angeles. The second project, Operation Community Pride, was led by 120 student and parent volunteers. They cleaned up their neighborhoods, painted over graffiti and reported illegally dumped items. "I think we made Dr. King proud today because we made our community a nicer place for everyone to live in," said Bryan Nava, a member of Gauldin's K-Kids Club. The third and final project, Operation Gratitude, saw about 100 students gathered at Rio San Gabriel Park to show their appreciation for U.S. troops overseas and veterans at home. To ensure that their sacrifices are appreciated, students wrote more than 100 letters expressing their gratitude, love and respect. Students also collected and donated hundreds of toiletries for homeless veterans residing in Veterans Village in San Diego. "We devoted a day of service to our military to provide students the opportunity to express their appreciation to those who serve our nation in uniform and provide us with the freedoms we cherish here at home," said Alex Gaytan, Kiwanis Club advisor.
********** Published: January 26, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 41