That's why O'Brien is working with other area businesses to help organize a day of service at her Oaklyn-based Studio Luloo on Monday, January 20.
When she lived in Ohio, O'Brien worked for a nonprofit called City Year that provided a day camp for school children on Martin Luther King Day, and "finally, I was at a point to provide that here," she said.
"Of any days to go out and do service or help our kids it's that day," O'Brien said.
"We want all of us to be reminded of our history, and history that is very recent. Our grandparents and parents were still alive when this was happening."
For parents who need a childcare activity on that day (schools are closed), the service event is a welcome—and feee—full-day program; for those who want to volunteer, it's an opportunity to take on a service activity alongside their children.
"The idea is to educate and connect on this day, and obviously provide a service for folks that's not just that day," O'Brien said.
The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and children are welcome to come for the entire day or just a portion of its activities.
For children aged 3 to 12, the Community Rocks! day camp will host craft-making, games, and performing arts activities related to King's teachings.
Events will be held at Studio LuLoo and Ovations Dance Studio. All kids get a free lunch from next-door Philly’s Phatties Pizza Shop.
Then, at 2:30 p.m. the children will take part in a "freedom march" to the Oaklyn Baptist Church where the event will conclude with performances, refreshments, and a birthday cake for King.
Adults and children aged 10 and older are invited to participate in one of the service activities coordinated through the event with nearby agencies (participants are advised to bring a bag lunch):
- Urban Promise - building a shed
- The Neighborhood Center of Camden, NJ - making lunches for needy people
- St. John Baptist Church of Camden, NJ - making lunches for needy people
- Delaware River Keeper - waterway cleanup in Haddon Township
- The Oaklyn Baptist Church Food Pantry - helping organize the pantry
- The CASTLE Program - sort and organize donations, painting rooms
"Every kid needs this whether you can afford it or you can't," O'Brien said.
"Feel free to make a donation—money, food, art supplies—but we really just want to make it free for all kids."
Register at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 856-296-2274.
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