Giving the gift of hope

Student donates winnings to Charleston school damaged by fire

By Valarie Flowers

CHARLESTON — One Charleston first grader is living out the message of hope and love demonstrated by the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

John Luke Taylor, a student at Pinewood Preparatory School, was named the winner in the Multimedia Category of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Essay and Multimedia contest sponsored by the Commission on Race and Religion of the S.C. Conference of The United Methodist Church.

John Luke, who titled his winning project Equal is Equal. Love is Love, was awarded prize money for his contribution in the contest. Instead of purchasing toys or throwing a party for his class, John Luke and his classmates wanted to follow the advocacy of Dr. King.

After hearing about First Baptist Church School in Charleston, whose classroom was damaged by a fire, John Luke and his class decided to donate the $50 in winnings to assist the school in purchasing supplies that were lost in the fire.

The fire, despite being quickly contained by firefighters, still damaged the walls of the art room at First Baptist and destroyed many of the art supplies used by the students.

The kids at the other school had lost their art room and needed help, and we wanted to help them because Dr. King wanted all people to help each other and be kind and love each other, John Luke said.

In March, John Luke presented Debbie Bowers, lower school art teacher at First Baptist, with the check and a giant card carrying the message of hope.

We wanted to do something to help other people, said John Luke.

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