Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Where to volunteer on MLK Jr. Day in Atlanta

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Dr Martin Luther King
  • Image Courtesy of Revivalist
  • Dr Martin Luther King
Take a page out of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s book and give up some free time this upcoming weekend to honor King's memory with one of Atlanta's many volunteer service opportunities.

Saturday Jan. 14


The Decatur MLK Service Project
is seeking volunteers to work at senior citizen's homes in Oakhurst, doing home repairs and yard work that the elderly homeowners would not normally be able to afford or do. Skilled construction workers, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and gardeners are greatly needed in addition to anyone willing to help. Volunteers are encouraged to bring any tools, rakes, brooms, clippers, etc. that they may own. Volunteers can work one or both of two shifts: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and are asked to meet at the Solarium in Oakhurst at least a half-hour before their shift starts.

The Southeastern Horticultural Society is requesting volunteers to help get a new family of goats accustomed to their new home at the organization's East Lake garden. Volunteers will get the opportunity to come up with and vote on names for the new goats, plant seeds as part of the organization's 'Million Plant March' mission, and install a peace pole to honor Dr. King's legacy. Volunteers should arrive at 10 a.m.

The Open Hand organization, which has been providing nutritious meals to low income communities in Atlanta for 22 years, can always use some extra helping hands around the organization. On Saturdays, Open Hand needs volunteers for cooking, meal packaging, and meal delivering. From 9 a.m. and throughout the day, register here.

Sunday, Jan. 15


The Decatur MLK Service Project
is seeking volunteers to work at senior citizen's homes in Oakhurst, doing home repairs and yard work that the elderly homeowners would not normally be able to afford or do. Skilled construction workers, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and gardeners are greatly needed in addition to anyone willing to help. Volunteers are encouraged to bring any tools, rakes, brooms, clippers, etc. that they may own. Volunteers can work one or both of two shifts: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and are asked to meet at the Solarium in Oakhurst at least a half-hour before their shift starts.

Monday, Jan. 16

Humphries Elementary School is teaming up with former NFL player Rodney Peete as part of Allstate Insurance's Give Back Day program to complete a painting and beautification project around the school. This service project is open to the public, and volunteers can expect to work from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The International Community School (ICS), which focuses on helping students understand one another's cultural differences by learning in an ethnically-diverse classroom, gives refugee families a place where their children can learn and transition to their new lives in America. Volunteers 6 and older will help create a butterfly garden and landscape an outdoor classroom from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Atlanta CARES, an affiliate of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, is in need of volunteers to help with completing a literacy project and creating an arts and crafts project to be donated to a senior home. This project is open to volunteers 8 and older and will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Keep North Fulton Beautiful (KNFB) organization is dedicated to the beautification and conservation of the North Fulton community. On MLK Day, KNFB will be holding an Electronics Recycling event and offer Free Document shredding in Sandy Springs. Volunteers are asked to be 16 or older, and volunteer from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Historic District Development Corporation (HDDC) facilitates the preservation and revitalization of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic District, and it is asking for volunteers to help clean debris from the original Atlanta Life Insurance Company building at Herndon Plaza in addition to general landscaping and clean up around the building. Volunteers must be at least 18 and arrive at 9 a.m. to work until 1 p.m.

The Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve in DeKalb County is a 2,000 acre park complete with walking trails, wetlands, streams, and a lake. But managing and maintaining a park of this size is very difficult, so any volunteers willing to help with building benches, cleaning the Lake House Retreat Center, mulching trails, and painting a mural. Open to volunteers 16 and older from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The West End's Mother Clyde Memorial Garden is the result of Clyde "Mother Clyde" Branson pushing her community to clean up a vacant lot, and turn it into a community garden which now generates income for the community. With the help of the Feed the Land Foundation, volunteers 13 and older will be preparing garden plots for planting in the spring, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Grant Park Conservancy needs a hand cleaning up the park in preparation for the spring and summer, volunteers will be asked to help with cutting back overgrowth, picking up trash, raking leaves, and other general park maintenance. Volunteers should be 16 or older and arrive ready to help from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Coan Middle School in Kirkwood is looking for volunteers to do gardening work in the school's 'Edible Schoolyard.' Preparing the garden for spring will include digging new plots, mulching, weeding, and raking. Open to volunteers 12 years or older, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The DeKalb Community Service Board's CHOICE program, which serves DeKalb's developmentally disabled community, needs volunteers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. who are willing to do yard mulching, plant flowers and shrubs, and general maintenance to beautify the facility in Lithonia. Contact Michelle at info@dekcsb.org by noon on Thursday, Jan. 12 to pre-register to volunteer.

Back on My Feet is an organization that encourages the homeless community to build confidence and positivity through running and regular exercise. On MLK Day, Back on My Feet is asking volunteers to run in the annual MLK 5K at Lenox (at 9 a.m.) under the Back on My Feet team. Then a portion of the race's proceeds will be reinvested into Back on My Feet. Register for the 5K here.

BeProactive Foundation is dedicated to engaging Atlanta youth to be smart, focused, and involved in their communities. On Monday, BeProactive needs help painting murals, doing general landscaping, and building new container gardens; open to volunteers 11 or older from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Youth Pride, an organization dedicated to uniting the LGBT youth of Atlanta, is asking for volunteers to help paint various rooms in the center. Volunteers can plan to begin at 9 a.m. and will be finished at 1 p.m.

The Arts Exchange cultural center needs a hand painting some rooms and the theater, in addition to some general cleaning. Volunteers should be 18 or older, and come ready to work from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hands On Atlanta will enlist over 3,000 volunteers as part of the 17th Annual Day of Service. Starting at 8:30 a.m. at Carver High School, volunteers will make 6,000 bagged lunches for those in need in Atlanta in addition to distributing 10,000 recycled blankets from Delta Air Lines to Atlanta's homeless population.

Additionally, Hands On Atlanta will be organizing service activities for children called family service projects. Volunteers will be making 2,000 sandwiches for the Open Door Community, putting together toiletry kits for the Atlanta Children's Shelter, and making flower pots for a local senior center. While these projects are geared to ages 5-11, all ages are welcome to volunteer, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The folks at WonderRoot will need help cleaning up trash and debris from the vacant lot next to WonderRoot's space on Memorial Drive; work will start around 9 a.m. According to Chris Appleton at WonderRoot, the plan is to turn the empty lot into a multi-use space for a sculpture and educational garden.

For a list of even more volunteer opportunities near your neighborhood or community visit Hands On Atlanta's website here.

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