O'Fallon schools and some businesses closed on Monday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but a group of volunteers chose to view the day off as a "day on" to serve others in their community.
Pink, Red and Purple tissue paper covered tables in the Multi-Purpose room at on Monday morning, as volunteers shaped origami flowers and made cards for
Each year on Random Acts of Kindness Day, Feb. 14, city employees visit local senior homes and distribute the flowers and cards made by volunteers on MLK Day.
Volunteer Services Director Kathy Halstead started the project a few years ago, and chose Valentine’s Day, because it seems to be a day that seniors are often forgotten.
Alexis Jaegers, O’Fallon’s volunteer services coordinator said the service project resonates with Dr. King's message, because it promotes residents coming together for one common goal: to give back.
Nearly 75 volunteers of all ages showed up to help on Monday. Grandparents, parents, children and high school students sat side-by-side helping each other twist the brightly colored paper into flowers.
Students from and South Leadership Classes, Zumwalt North National Honors Society and Key Club, arrived early and took the lead in helping others complete the task of crafting 500 cards and flowers.
Halstead said she was amazed by how many people took advantage of the service opportunity.
"There's no school today, and that's what's amazing. They decided to come in and help out when they could have been sleeping or doing something else," she said.