On a cold Monday morning, January 18, 2021, Mount Pisgah Academy (MPA) celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by mobilizing the entire student body and staff to serve the community through several projects for the entire day. Jo Ottinger, chaplain, began the day with worship in the auditorium focused on the historical significance of King, as well as his desire for people to serve others. After worship, masked and socially distanced students divided into their service groups for the day.
They are incredibly thankful to JéWana Grier-McEachin, ’92, for her motivation and leadership on this very special day. By her efforts and organization, most of the students were able to serve in the Historic Shiloh Community of Asheville, N.C. Students helped clean and do minor maintenance items at the Shiloh Community Gardens & Legacy Art Trail. They also packed more than 100 personal hygiene bags at the Friendship Community Center in the morning, and delivered them to the porches of senior citizens in the Shiloh Community that afternoon. Grier-McEachin even invited the local news station, WLOS Channel 13, to video a piece covering their efforts, which ran on the evening news.
A group of students and staff were sent to the Church of Hope in North Asheville, where Yarik Klemovich, youth leader, directed them to paint a very long wall. The wall concealed storage space in the multi-purpose room used for church gatherings, community events, and as a gym. The students were excited for the opportunity to paint. Several of the students had never painted anything before. The church was thankful for the painting lessons by MPA staff Louie Parra and Ed Pelto. The students were efficient in painting, and after doing a great job with the wall, they were able to sweep and organize the storage area, making sure everything was returned to its proper place. Principal Remy Guenin reported, “Yarik was so pleased with our kids! I am really proud of them and the work they did!”
Motivated by the success and impact of this year’s experiences, Ottinger is already looking to next year as they celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day through service to their community.
MPA wants to extend a special thanks to Jo Ottinger for all his hard work!
Carolina | April 2021