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Dr. King Tributes Stress Giving Back

City of Highland Park, Deerfield congregation will honor memory of civil rights leader and Nobel Prize winner with day of service.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

“Don’t make it a day off, make it a day on,” is how Congregation Am Shalom Rabbi Steven Lowenstein tells people at his congregation to observe the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday the third Monday of each January.

The City of Highland Park has embraced that message for the last five years with its day of service from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Recreation Center of Highland Park.

Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim (BJBE) in Deerfield will also have a day of service honoring King from 1 to 3:30 p.m. throughout the Village.

One person who takes the message espoused by Lowenstein to heart is Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) who will roll up his sleeves for an hour Monday and chip in at the Recreation Center. A year ago, he joined President Barack Obama’s national day of service two days before the inauguration.

“Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. exemplified a lifetime of service and nobly dedicated his life to the pursuit of equality and justice for all,” Schneider said. “Today many will honor his life with acts of service, and his legacy continues to inspire us all to a lifetime of service.”

Sponsored by the Park District of Highland Park and Highland Park’s Human Relations Commission, Highland Park’s event will include packaging toiletries for PADS, creating valentine messages for American troops, filling book bags for distribution at the North Shore Health Center, quilting, making items for animals at pet shelters. A full list of activities is available on the North Shore School District 112 website.

At BJBE, people will meet at the synagogue and then fan out through Deerfield doing things like sorting books at Bernie’s Book Bank, repairing book ends at the Deerfield Public Library and working at the West Deerfield Township Food Pantry.

“They’re doing the hard cleaning, the work no one wants to do,” West Deerfield Township Supervisor Alyson Feiger said. Not only will the group be cleaning but they will also be delivering food and stocking shelves. The Pantry will not be open for regular delivery Monday.

That will not be the case with the Moraine Township Food Pantry in Highland Park. There will be curbside drop and go service for donations from 10 a.m. to noon, according to Moraine Township Supervisor Ann Bassi.

After spending the day helping others, those who want to learn more about hunger in the United States can bring food for the West Deerfield Township Food Pantry and see a screening of the documentary, “A Place at the Table,” at 7 p.m. at the Christ United Methodist Church in Deerfield.

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