Posted Monday, January 18, 2010 -- 5:15 p.m.
By NBC15's Dana Brueck
Monday marks the Martin Luther King holiday -- a day off, but a day of service as well.
"We've talked about it a lot," Lisa Koenig says, "About being socially responsible ... about being aware of what's going on in the world."
From Madison's Atwood Avenue, 6th grader Sophia Hansen's learning about Dr. King's legacy.
"He said help and support people no matter what color ... today we're doing that for people who aren't even in our country."
The middle schooler's working a hot cocoa and coffee stand - raising more than a thousand dollars for the Red Cross for Haiti relief.
All of the donations matched by St. Mary's Hospital for a total of more than 24-hundred dollars!
"Right now, they don't have a lot. And they're in a tough situation and they need our help."
Around the corner... another effort by local kids to help earthquake victims... by creating fundraising buckets for local schools.
It's one of a number of projects through the Urban League's annual youth service day.
"I want them to see even today, whether they're in middle school or high school, they can be involved in their community. They don't have to wait until they become an adult," coordinator JoAnne Akyeampong says.
"Many of our classes start the day by just talking about Dr. King."
In Belleville, it's business as usual.
"Our theme, Dana, is a day on, to learn more about Dr. King and the great things he has done," Middle and High School Principal Rick Conroy says.
High school freshmen spend the day discussing an American classic... in the spirit of Dr. King.
"In school, you're talking about it.. and you learn more about it than if you're out of school... and kind of ignore it or forget about it."
But a day in school doesn't mean a day without service.
A soup dinner will raise money for a local agency to help families in need.
Here's more information about Monday night's 10th annual Soup Dinner:
Students created the bowls for the fundraiser.
It costs seven dollars a person and runs from 5 to 7 at the High School Commons in Belleville.