Lancaster Volunteers “Live to Serve” During Seventh Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

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The City of Lancaster is shining brighter than ever after 2,000 volunteers converged to paint, rake and clean, while taking part of more than 30 different projects on the seventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 18, 2014.

“Serving others is a wonderful thing,” said Vice Mayor Marvin Crist. “When we come together to serve our neighbors, it strengthens the bonds between us.These projects benefit not only the physical appearance of our neighborhoods; more importantly, they build our sense of community.”

The area between K-4, K-8, 20th St. E and 25th St. E was littered with trash prior to the Day of Service activities. With rakes in tow, more than 80 volunteers came out to the Antelope Valley Illegal Dumping Task Force Cleanup project.Participants worked from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to rid this area of illegally dumped waste and keep Lancaster beautiful.

“We were thrilled to see such a large turnout this Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service,” Council member Ken Mann. “These volunteers are helping ensure that the Antelope Valley remains environmentally friendly and the community is rid of costly and unhealthy eyesores. We strive to keep the Antelope Valley beautiful through education of proper waste disposal and dedicated volunteers.”

After a dozen volunteers participated in the seventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, El Dorado Park Preschool Playground Improvement Project, the preschool is now an even better place for young children to learn and thrive.Participants painted hopscotch and foursquare games on the playground for children to enjoy for years to come. They also cleaned toys. El Dorado Park offers a low-cost preschool program to low-income families to help prepare children for their educational future.

“The El Dorado Park Preschool Program has become an excellent low-cost option for families who want their children to develop valuable social skills before they enter Kindergarten. Part of our program relies on outside play and activities for students to learn teamwork and good sportsmanship. We are grateful to all the volunteers who worked so hard to enhance this facility. Their combined efforts go a long way toward helping us to continue to offer exceptional care to children in the Antelope Valley, even to families who don’t think they can afford it,” said Vice Mayor Crist.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service has become so popular amongst Antelope Valley residents that the events have spread into the weeks surrounding MLK weekend. Like last year, this year’s projects started early during the week of January 13 with blood drives at both AV Hospital and Red Cross; projects benefitting the homeless and low-income families; makeovers for two hospice patients and caregivers by beauticians who volunteered their time; and a landscaping project, with volunteers planting trees at Mariposa Elementary School. Several additional community projects will be completed throughout the coming weeks.

“What better way to love your neighbors, than to serve them? We love our community, and we’re thrilled to have this opportunity to bless our neighbors.It’s a joy to partner with local organizations and volunteers to bring projects such as these to our valley,” concluded Sandra Johnson, Lancaster City Council member.

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