LANCASTER – With more than 30 local projects slated for Lancaster’s 6th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, the city is inviting residents, non-profit and service organizations and community groups to sign up and volunteer.
“The 19th of this month will be a day of service, not a day off but a day on,” said Lancaster Mayor Emeritus Henry Hearns, at a press conference Thursday to preview the Day of Service.
“It’s about bringing the community together – the churches, and the families, and the kids, and the service groups, and the alumni, and the students – and forming bonds and friendships and partnerships that will hopefully last years and years and make this a better community,” said Ronda Perez, Director of Parks, Recreation and Arts for the city of Lancaster.
The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative, calling on Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to the most pressing national problems. Each year, Americans across the country service their neighbors and communities through thousands of commemorative projects.
More than 30 of those projects will take place in Lancaster this year.
“This event has literally taken on a life of its own,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “I am proud of the citizens who have chosen to make a difference in our community every single year.”
MLK Day of Service projects
The Academy at the Artist Lofts. (10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, at Artist Lofts, 661 W. Lancaster Blvd, Ste 101) Volunteers will paint walls, complete two murals and do light maintenance at the kids/teen center at the Artist Lofts. Volunteers will help improve a space to be used to teach kids, teens and families a number of recreational skills. (Volunteer needs met.)
AMR “Hands-Only” CPR Workshop. (1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, at Lancaster City Park, Kleiner Building Game Room, 43011 N. 10th Street West) This Hands-Only CPR clinic will consist of AMR employees demonstrating the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR and then giving participants the opportunity to do it themselves. Several CPR mannequins will be available for use. This clinic does not replace full CPR training, and the individual will not receive a certification; but it does give the learner the knowledge and ability to deliver basic immediate assistance until help arrives. (Volunteers needed)
Antelope Valley High School Cafeteria Improvements. (1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, at Antelope Valley High School, 44900 N. Division St. Lancaster) Volunteers will give the nearly 40-year-old cafeteria some love by scraping, spackling, sanding and applying one coat of light paint. (Volunteer needs met)
Antelope Valley Hospital Blood Donation. (9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Jan. 15 & 17; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 16; and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 19, at AV Outpatient Imaging Center, 44105 15th Street West, Ste. 305) Over 2,000 residents of the Antelope Valley require lifesaving blood transfusions every year. Next time it could be for you or your loved one. No appointment necessary. (Donors needed)
Antelope Valley Partners for Health – Desert View Wellness Home Community Garden. (10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, at Desert View Wellness Home at 1102 West Avenue H-5) Antelope Valley Partners for Health will lead volunteers in improving Desert View’s Community Wellness Home. Volunteers will move garden boxes and dirt for mound planting of vegetables. (Volunteer needs met)
Antelope Valley Red Cross Blood Drive. (1 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 15, 18, & 22 at The Chapter House, 2715 East Avenue P in Palmdale) Hundreds of Red Cross blood drives were cancelled in the East due to the recent storm, representing a loss of thousands of blood and platelet products. Bloods donors can give blood to replenish blood banks. Register in advance by calling 800-733-2767 or visit www.redcrossla.org/blood. Bring a photo ID to your appointment. Full donor eligibility information is available online. (Donors needed)
Antelope Valley Red Cross Disaster Preparedness. (9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 19 at The Chapter House, 2715 East Avenue P in Palmdale) Volunteers will walk through several Antelope Valley high-risk fire neighborhoods distributing fire prevention and safety precaution door hangers. Volunteers will help residents avoid fires and be prepared in the event of one. Wear sturdy shoes and warm clothes. Snacks and water provided. (Volunteer needs met)
Assistance League Antelope Valley Clean-up. (8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 19 at Assistance League, 808 Newgrove Avenue in Lancaster) Volunteers will be washing tables, toys and windows for a sparkling clean New Year, as well as raking playground sand and sprucing up landscaping. (Volunteer needs met)
Be the Match Bone Marrow Registry. (8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan 19 at 43000 30th Street East in Lancaster) Project will add donors to the bone marrow registry, giving thousands of patients with a life threatening disease a new chance at life. Donors will sign a consent form and complete a cheek swab to be added to the registry. AV Cancer Society representative will provide insight on local cancer support efforts/opportunities. (Adult donors needed)
Cedar Arts Center Landscaping Project. (Saturday, Jan. 19 at 44845 Cedar Avenue in Lancaster) Volunteers will be sprucing up the landscaping around the building to give it a fresh clean look. (Volunteer needs met by US Bank. )
The Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley. (9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 at The Children’s Center, 45111 Fern Avenue in Lancaster.) Volunteers will work on a mural at the Center, adding color and making the facility even more welcoming for young children as they receive treatment and reassurance. (Volunteer needs met.)
Desert Vineyard “Service for Life” Cleanup Project. (7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19) The morning will begin with a community wide church gathering of prayer and encouragement. Volunteers will clean the streets, neighborhoods and fields from Avenue I south to Avenue J and from Sierra Highway east to Division. Bring work gloves and, if available, weed whackers, rakes, brooms, flat beds and trucks. For more information or to register for this project, sign up at the Desert Vineyard Information Counter; call David Swift at 661-945-2777, ext. 264; or visit the Desert Vineyard online at desertvineyard.org/martin-luther-king-jr-day-of-service/
Elm Avenue Community Garden. (9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 at 44738- ½ Elm Avenue in Lancaster) Volunteers will beautify the community garden with art and maintain existing planter beds. The community garden benefits homeless and low income communities. (Volunteer needs met.)
Electronic Waste Pick-up. (Monday, Jan. 21 to Friday, Jan. 25) Help the environment by placing your unwanted electronics such as printers, computers, radios, televisions, DVD players and more curbside for pickup at your front door. The City of Lancaster, through its Electronic Waste Recycling Program, will pick up the curbside e-waste at no cost to you! A complete list of accepted items is available online at http://www.cityoflancasterca.org/index.aspx?page=1295. (Volunteers needed: Open to all Lancaster residents)
First City Credit Union Financial Literacy Workshop. (10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 19 at American Heroes Park, 701 Kettering Street in Lancaster) Young adults will gain valuable knowledge on personal finance: budgeting, savings and investing, checking and savings accounts, managing debt and credit, avoiding fraud, etc. (Volunteers needed: Young adult participation encouraged.)
Grace Resource Center Facility Improvements. (8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 19 at Grace Resource Center, 45134 Sierra Highway in Lancaster) MLK Day volunteers will help beautify the facility by aiding in general maintenance and special improvement projects. Volunteers are encouraged to bring supplies from home (i.e. gloves, brooms, mops, etc.) to aid in this effort! (Volunteer needs met.)
Habitat for Humanity (Palmdale Residence). (9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19) Volunteers will make improvements to a local veteran’s home, including drywall, painting, weather stripping, carpentry, and plumbing. No experience is required. Volunteers should wear clothes that can get dirty, close-toed shoes and bring bottled water.
Lancaster Community Shelter. (8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 19 at Lancaster’s Community Homeless Shelter, 44611 Yucca Avenue in Lancaster.) Neighborhood Impact volunteers will take on 29 major renovation projects at Lancaster’s Community Homeless Shelter. Tasks include repairing beds, outdoor cement work, lawn improvements, painting, and tile work, improving the facility for children and enhancing safety. (Volunteer needs met.)
Lancaster Community Shelter Vicinity Clean-up. (8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 19 at Yucca Avenue in Lancaster) Neighborhood Impact volunteers will beautify the area adjacent to Lancaster Community Shelter, improving area aesthetics. (Volunteer needs met)
James C. Gilley Soccer Lancaster National Soccer Center FENCE Painting. (8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 19 at 43000 30th Street East in Lancaster) Volunteers will repaint wrought iron fence. Volunteers will work in an open environment with the knowledge that their contribution and impact will be on display for all to see. Project may be messy; wear appropriate clothes. (Volunteers of all ages needed)
James C. Gillet Lancaster National Soccer Center KIOSK Painting. (8 a.m. until complete, Saturday, Jan. 19 at 43000 30th Street East in Lancaster) Volunteers semi-skilled at painting will re-paint a small kiosk at the Soccer Center. Volunteers will work in an open environment with the knowledge that their contribution and impact will be on display for all to see. Project may be messy; wear appropriate clothes. (Volunteers needed: Adults with painting experience)
Lancaster Performing Arts Center Ambassador (Theater Usher) Project. (9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 19 at LPAC, 750 West Lancaster BLVD) Volunteers will help maintain the facility, tour the theater, and learn what it takes to volunteer year round as a theater usher through the Ambassador Program. Additional information is available at www.lpac.org. (Adult volunteers needed)
Monte Vista Campus Improvements. (10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 19 at Monte Vista, 1235 Kettering Street in Lancaster) The Monte Vista Elementary School Campus was a national finalist in Glidden Paint company’s Colorful Classroom competition and was awarded 200 gallons of paint to repaint the 60-year-old campus! MLK Day volunteers will prep the campus for spring painting. (Volunteer needs met)
Paving the Way – Challenger Youth Probation Camp Community Garden. (8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18 at 5300 West Avenue I in Lancaster) Volunteers will work alongside camp residents to help prepare and develop a future community garden site by cleaning, preparing the soil and repairing planter beds. Participants will also hear a presentation from a master gardener and enjoy a post project meal. Registered volunteers will be required to participate in a no-cost background check, via the probation department, before beginning work. (Volunteers 25 years and older needed.)
Prime Desert Woodland Clean-up. (9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 at 43201 35th Street West in Lancaster) Volunteers will clean up The Preserve, removing trash and debris, improving the site, which provides visitors an opportunity to learn about the animals, plants, and the region, as well as provide a sanctuary to relax and enjoy nature. The Preserve has an area of about 100 acres with over three miles of trails. (Volunteer needs met.)
ProCare Hospice Makeovers. (11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22 at Casa De Amore, 44520 Calston Avenue in Lancaster) ProCare Hospice will offer makeovers to 3- 4 pre-selected terminally ill patients, bringing positive feelings, enhanced self- esteem and wonderful memories to the patients’ and their families. Each makeover includes hairstyling, make up and a memorable photo. The project has partnered with several local businesses to provide the makeovers. (Volunteer needs met)
Southeast Transit Village Metrolink Painting Project. (8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 at 44812 North Sierra Highway in Lancaster) Volunteers will repaint the Metrolink Station’s exterior. This project will add value to this public site by enhancing its aesthetics. Volunteers will work in an open environment with the knowledge that their contribution will be on display for all to see. (Volunteer needs met.)
St. Vincent de Paul — Feeding the Homeless. (9 to 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 45058 Trevor Avenue, Suite B in Lancaster) The center is seeking a volunteer group (10 -15 people) to feed the homeless. The volunteer group will purchase, prepare and serve food to 150 people. (Volunteer needs met)
St. Vincent de Paul Donation Center. (10 a.m. to noon on Jan. 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19 at 45058 Trevor Avenue, Suite B in Lancaster) Donations of Gently used winter clothing and shoes (infant to adult sizes), blankets/sleeping bags and travel sized toiletry items are accepted. (Donors needed)
Valley Oasis Thrift Store Floor Repair. (10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 at Valley Oasis Domestic Violence shelter, 3030 East Palmdale Blvd) Volunteers will help paint and repair the Valley Oasis Thrift Store floor. Proceeds from sales at the Thrift shop benefit the Valley Oasis Domestic Violence shelter. (Volunteer needs met.)
Volunteers are encouraged to sign-up for projects, even if they can only donate an hour or two.
To volunteer, make a donation, or for more information, contact the city’s Parks, Recreation and Arts Department at 661-723-6077 or visit www.cityoflancasterca.org/mlkday. Businesses are also being asked to donate supplies to the service projects.
View sights from last year’s MLK Day of Service here.