ELDERSBURG - In honor of the man who preached fellowship, more than 200 kids gave back to their communities Monday by making bagged lunches for a soup kitchen, creating cards for the elderly and performing other service projects as part of the 2nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.
The Day of Service, which was hosted by the St. Joseph Catholic Community in Eldersburg, included a dozen service stations spread throughout the facility for kids to participate in. The wide variety of projects included everything from making security blankets for children to compiling toiletry kits for people. Some kids were joined by their parents, who also wanted to help spread the message of community and volunteerism.
The banging of hammers could be heard throughout the facility where kids and parents worked to build bluebird houses that would be erected in area parks. Karen Welsh, of Eldersburg, worked with her three daughters for nearly an hour to make their birdhouse just right.
The Welshs worked on the floor, in a small area in the back of the room. While some of the kids wildly hammered the pieces together, the Welshs carefully held the pre-cut pieces of wood together while one of the kids hammed nails into them, until finally forming the structure of the birdhouse.
"This is wonderful," Karen Welsh said. "It's great to have the kids come out and do something for their community."
Grace Welsh, 13, said she really enjoyed working on the birdhouse together with her sisters and mom.
"It's a great program," Grace Welsh said. "Everyone comes together to help people."
Having a day of service teaches kids about the importance of community and fellowship, according to Bob Sutliff, coordinator of the church's youth ministry. Whether they're building bird houses or making bagged lunches, Sutliff said the kids are learning about giving back.
"Even if they don't think they're getting something out of it, they are," Sutliff said. "When they're at some event later on, and someone asks for help, they'll put their hand up [and help] because it's something they've done before and it's not something to be afraid of."
David Kreinar, 15, started the Day of Service in 2012, as part of his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project. Kreinar, who attends Century High School in Sykesville, said he's proud to see so many kids participating in something he started.
"I'm very glad that it's continuing," Kreinar said.
Sutliff said the church plans to continue having the yearly event. Hopefully in 2014, more members of the community can come out and participate in the Day of Service, he said.