University of Iowa Hillel students make meals for Shelter House, Valentines Day cards for senior center

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Many people across eastern Iowa participated in service projects to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday- including students at the University of Iowa Hillel.

Students at the University of Iowa Hillel fill up boxes with meals to bring to the Shelter House on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. (Aaron Scheinblum/KCRG)

Students made lunch for people staying at the Shelter House, and planned ahead making valentines for others at the Iowa City Senior Center.

"We thought because today is MLK Day, we want as a Jewish community, to contribute something back," said Caleb Marx, a student at the University of Iowa and the President of the student board of the Iowa Hillel.

Students did not set a goal for how many meals or letters they wanted to make- they just kept going until they ran out of food, or ran out of time.

"We're trying to do as much as we possibly can because at the end of the day, every person that we contribute to in a positive way just makes us happier," Marx said.

For leaders like Ashley Carol-Fingerhut, the executive director of the Iowa Hillel, she said seeing students with this kind of initiative is special.

"It's a really good feeling to know that this something that they care about and that they're starting to live those values that we want to instill," Carol-Fingerhut said.

As Marx drove to the Shelter House with a trunk full of meals, Carol-Fingerhut and other students stayed to make a few more valentines- but they said it was not for the recognition or a specific goal they were looking to reach. Marx said they just want people to know they are loved.

"I don't know if they're going to know that this came from Iowa Hillel, and that's not important," Carol-Fingerhut said. "But that they know that there are people out there who understand that they're a part of our community and we care about them."

Making sandwiches and cards, while making memories for themselves and others.

"I can just only imagine that someone at the Shelter House eating the great sandwiches and the great foods that we're making for them," Marx said.