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Flossmoor helping area’s needy through MLK Day of Service

Flossmoor residents are banding together to help south suburban neighbors in need during the 2015 MLK Day of Service on Jan. 19.

The village’s Human Relations Commission is spearheading the day’s events, which will benefit three area social service organizations – the Jones Center in Chicago Heights, Respond Now, and South Suburban PADS.

The federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been a National Day of Service since 1994. This is the first year that Flossmoor has participated in the national event. On Jan. 19, volunteers will be collecting donations and delivering them to organizations that serve the area’s needy.

At the Jones Center, volunteers will deliver  food to the pantry, prepare and share breakfast and read and create art projects with local children. Maggie Bachus will lead this event and about 20 volunteers will participate at the Jones Center.

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At PADS, which services the area’s homeless population, volunteers will prepare a hot breakfast, engage in activities with clients and cook a hot lunch.  Margaret Epperson, a PADS volunteer at Flossmoor Community Church, is coordinating efforts on Jan.  19. About 40 volunteers are expected to help out at the PADS event.

Respond Now, which provides vital services to persons of need throughout the area, will send a truck to Flossmoor Village Hall to pick up donations of food, clothing and other items.

At Village Hall, volunteers of all ages will also create birthday and holiday cards for the Kids Who Care seniors program.

Flossmoor School District 161 is also taking part in the Day of Service. Students in the District 161 schools will be collecting food between Jan. 7 and 16. Laura Brennan-Levy, a Human Relations Commission member, and her daughter Hannah, a junior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, met with district administrators and enlisted their help.

Hannah is participating in the MLK Day event as part of a service project at HF High School, as well as a Girl Scout Gold Award. She also plans to create a quarterly newsletter on volunteer efforts in Flossmoor and create a database listing volunteers in the village. She said the first issue of the newsletter will appear in March.

Donations are being accepted at Village Hall between Jan. 5 and 19. The village is asking for non-perishable food items like peanut butter, jelly, canned meat, fruit and vegetables, granola bars, rice, pasta, and sauce.

Men’s winter clothing, new or gently used, are needed, including coats, gloves, heavy socks, work boots, and long underwear.

The village is also asking for personal care products like toilet paper , bar soap, toothpaste and tooth brushes, toiletry kits for men, and backpacks and duffle bags.

Interested persons can sign up for the MLK Day of Service at the village website.

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