MLK Day of Service Aligns GPS with Neighbors in Need

Annual event mobilizes teachers, faculty, and coaches into our community to serve others.
“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?’”—Martin Luther King Jr.

Last week, to honor the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., our students and faculty participated in MLK Day of Service. Through on- and off-campus activities and projects, we proudly partnered with and served more than 30 nonprofit agencies and organizations across Chattanooga.

Under the direction and keen organizational skills of Partnerships in Community sponsor Trish King, the entire school was spurred into helping our friends and neighbors. Members of PIC served as student project leaders. 

Together with their teachers, coaches, and at times their brothers at McCallie, our girls worked to clear trails, clean pet cages, knit winter caps, piece together quilts, create cards, assemble craft kits, prepare lunches, stuff Easter eggs, bake cookies, and more.

Those organizations served included Bachman Community Center, The Bethlehem Center, Salvation Army, Blood Assurance, Chambliss Center, Chattanooga Rescue Mission, Chattanooga Zoo, Community Kitchen, Crabtree Farms, Clinica Medicos, local veterans and first responders, YMCA, Center for Family Connections, Chattanooga Theatre Center, Humane Educational Society, Lula Lake Land Trust, Lookout Mountain Conservancy, Reflection Riding, Habitat for Humanity, GPS Development, Tennessee River Gorge Trust, Welcome Home of Chattanooga, Erlanger Children’s Hospital, and Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.

Getting out in our community not only offers our students time to work together across grade levels and with faculty they might not encounter during their school days, but serving side by side also allows them an opportunity to meet their neighbors, understand what ongoing needs exist in Chattanooga, and work toward a common goal of a better community.

Rewarding for us all were these messages we received from our friends and neighbors via social media:

Clinica Medicos
Thank you GPS for sending your students to Clinica Medicos to learn about our form of service to the community and for their help in making the clinic a brighter place!

Salvation Army Chatt
Thank you to McCallie School and Girls Preparatory School for helping clean, organize, and do special projects for us on this #MLKDayofService.

Lula Lake Land Trust 
In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the MLK Day of Service, students from Girls Preparatory School and McCallie School didn’t take a day off. Instead, they took a “day on” and dedicated their time to make a difference in our community. These students braved the cold to pick up trash along Lula Lake Road. We’re so grateful for these generous, hard-working philanthropists!

Habitat for Humanity Chattanooga
This #MLKDay the #GPSVolunteers joined us for a day of service! Together we prepped our home repair warehouse for another season of building homes, #community and hope. Plus, we reclaimed old wood pallets, turning them into key holders. These will be a wonderful reminder to our partners that #homeiskey. Thank you #GPSBruisers for helping us build strength, stability, self-reliance, and #shelter here in #Chattanooga with #Habichatt.

J.A. Henry Community YMCA 
Thank You to Girls Preparatory School. A wonderful group of students who came to help prepare delicious food! 

Chattanooga Theatre Centre
We’re delighted to have students from GPS and Southern University here this morning for a day of service in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They’re contributing the invaluable service of decluttering the prop loft. Thanks guys!

Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
Thank you to everyone who spent MLK Day giving back to their community. Every project, big or small, has a positive impact on the world around us. Special thank you to Girls Preparatory School, McCallie School, and St. Nicholas School for spending time with us today!

The Bethlehem Center
Thank you Girls Preparatory School for spending #MLKDay with our Beth students! Our girls enjoyed making jewelry, dancing, and being silly with you. Also shoutout to McCallie for spending the day doing fun activities with our Beth boys. It was a great day to see our community come together!

Tennessee River Gorge Trust
Students from McCallie School and Girls Preparatory School braved the cold weather and joined us for two MLK Day service projects on TRGT lands. We cleaned up litter, removed invasive species, and dug drainage ditches. Glad to have so many hard working students who are excited about conservation!

Hospice of Chattanooga
Thank you to Girls Preparatory School, who sent 40 of their students to visit with our patients as part of Martin Luther King Jr. volunteer day. Per the head nurse, this was the most interaction they had seen from their patients in a long time.

Welcome Home of Chattanooga
What a wonderful way to start Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day! We welcomed beautiful volunteers from both McCallie School and Girls Preparatory School. Thank you to students and teachers for serving us so well! 

Chattanooga Fire Dept
Thank you to the students at Girls Preparatory School for these very thoughtful cards for our firefighters! We appreciate you all taking the time to write these nice, uplifting notes!