Third grade students with their sock rolls and Gifts of Hope cards.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent questions is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Students at Simmons Elementary School achieved a lot for their MLK Day of Service on January 17. They worked with The Giving Tree organization for the third year in a row to create more than 330 “sock rolls” and Gifts of Hope packages.

Why socks? Socks are often the number one requested item by the homeless, especially during winter months.

“The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is an opportunity for our school community to come together and give back in honor of the memory of Dr. King and his commitment to creating a better world for all,” said Elisha Gee, assistant principal of Simmons Elementary School.

To create the sock rolls, students rolled granola bars and crackers into a pair of socks and tied them with ribbons. They then placed the socks in the Gift of Hope package, which also contained a toothbrush, toothpaste and pack of oatmeal.

Kindergarten students colored pictures and completed the message “I can change the world with…” by filling in the last word. Some students chose the words “giving,” “love,” “friendship” and “caring.” First through fifth grade students colored “Kindness matters” buckets pictured on cards, and wrote personalized messages or quotes about giving on them. These drawings were also placed inside the Gifts of Hope.

The Gifts of Hope will be distributed to displaced individuals in Philadelphia, including the Hub of Hope, a day center for individuals who may need a place to shower and get further support.