The Putnam County NAACP in partnership with the MLK Day Committee is sponsoring a "Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Award" to honor children in Putnam County who exemplify the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A "Certificate of Appreciation" and a $25 check will be awarded to each winner.
Putnam County residents may nominate children ages 8-18 who demonstrate the following qualities -- forgiveness, self-respect, willingness to suffer, refusal to hit back, good will for all people. According to Dr. King, these qualities are needed to "love the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed the person does." Nominators should rely on the following statements by Dr. King to determine which students most reflect the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"When I say love those who oppose you I am not speaking of love in a sentimental or affectionate sense. . . I mean understanding good will. . . .the highest form of love, 'agape'. 'Agape' means understanding, redeeming good will for all people. It is an overflowing of love, which seeks nothing in return. Here we rise to the position of loving the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed that the person does.
"How will we face the acts of cruelty and violence that might come as results of our standing up for justice? What will be our defense? Certainly it must not be retaliatory violence. We must find our defense in the amazing power of unity and courage that we have demonstrated in Mont-gomery . . . This dynamic unity, this amazing self-respect, this willingness to suffer, and this refusal to hit back will soon cause the oppressor to become ashamed of their own methods."
The student must reside in Putnam County and attend any K-12 county school.
The student may be nominated by a teacher, school counselor, school administrator, parent/relative, clergy, neighbor or another student. The nominator should include the student's first and last names, home address, age, grade, and school as well as the nominator's name and position/relation to the student.
The nominator must submit a typed summary paragraph explaining how the student exemplifies King's qualities of forgiveness, self-respect, willingness to suffer, refusal to hit back, and good will for all people.
This must be submitted on or before Jan. 5 via mail to 8 W. Seminary St., Greencastle, 46135 or by e-mail to: email@example.com.
The student must accept the award when notified and plan to attend the Putnam County Martin Luther King Celebration at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan, 15 to be recognized.
For more information, contact Sue Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org.