First annual National Service Day to take place at Saratoga High on Jan. 18 December 18, 2009 — by Christine Bancroft The school will be hosting its first version of National Service Day, a nationwide event in which people do a variety of community service projects. It will occur Jan. 18, which is also Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, a nationally recognized holiday. The school will be hosting its first version of National Service Day, a nationwide event in which people do a variety of community service projects. It will occur Jan. 18, which is also Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, a nationally recognized holiday. All students and other members of the community are welcome to join in the activities, said Dory Albert, a member of the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) who is helping organize the event. Students can participate in a variety of charity services including cooking dinners for needy people around Santa Clara County and assembling care packages for American servicemen and women in combat overseas. In addition, activities for the benefit of the school will take place, such as a campus clean-up and the planting of an organic vegetable garden and trees. The event will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Because it is a national holiday, school will not be in session, but students are still encouraged to attend. All school clubs, local charities and NCL, National Charity League, will also be involved in the effort. Albert said the PTSO expects a greater turnout from the Key and Interact clubs. Recently, an online survey was sent out to all students about the community service work day, with questions regarding how many students would be willing to participate in the work day and if there were any other ideas for the betterment of the community. Around 250 students, or 20% of the school, responded, even though results say that less than that plan to attend. Prior to Jan. 18, donations to the Red Cross—specifically, Operation: Care and Comfort , the organization that ships supplies to the troops, will be welcome. Collection boxes are located in the office. Suggested supplies for care packages are prepackaged snacks such as granola bars, sample six personal hygiene bottles, used CDs, DVDs and electronic games. To give money donations to benefit the troops overseas, please write checks out to ARC—Operation Care and Comfort. Students can receive community service hours by working at the event.