Decatur’s MLK Service Project Weekend – Give Back with a "Day On"!

Decatur Public Works’ own Patrick Grier!

Decatur’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Project
Saturday, January 16, through Monday, January 18, 2010

Please consider signing up to volunteer for the 8th Annual Decatur Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Project on the weekend of Jan. 16th, 17th and 18th. Volunteers will work on senior citizens’ homes in Decatur, making greatly needed repairs and doing yard work that the elderly homeowners have been unable to afford. The MLK Jr. Service Project is sponsored by the Decatur Preservation Alliance in partnership with the City of Decatur and other organizations.

Please mark your calendar to participate in project. Volunteers may work one or more of the following shifts:
Saturday, January 16: 9am to 1pm and 1pm to 5pm
Sunday, January 17: 1pm to 5pm
Monday, January 18: 9am to 1pm and 1pm to 5pm

When signing up, please indicate the shift(s) you have selected, whether you have any specific skills (skills such as carpentry, painting, plumbing, gardening, etc.), and whether you would like to join one of our special teams. Specific skills are not necessary.

A limited number of tools and work gloves will be available. If possible, it would be extremely helpful to bring supplies with you (work gloves; hammers, saws, drills, and other tools; rakes or other yard work supplies; ladders; etc.).

If you are signing up a group, please provide the name of your group and the names of those in the group who will be participating. If you are volunteering as a family and bringing your children, please let me know how many children you will bring and their ages.

Volunteers must be a minimum of 12-years-old, unless they are volunteering through a supervised organization, such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Please check first before signing up. Anyone under 18-years-old must have their parent or guardian sign the waiver form and bring it with them to the project.

If you have a youth group, please indicate the name of your group, the age range of the youth, and the number of youth and adults who will be participating. We would appreciate large groups splitting up into smaller groups of 15-20 volunteers. A release form must be signed by the parent/guardian of each of the youth. Please download the release form and print a separate form for each of the youth.

If you have an unskilled group that will be doing yard work, please designate Yard Work Supervisors for your group.

We are always grateful for the tremendous volunteer response every year but are currently looking for volunteers who can take a leadership role or those who can join some specific committees. The following are some key areas we are targeting:

• Skilled Trades people – We always have several projects that require a professional roofer, plumber, electrician, HVAC person, and carpenter. We also are looking for lots of non-professional but proficient carpenters.

• Materials Expeditors – We try to anticipate our materials needs prior to the project. In the course of the project, we often find that we need additional materials in a timely manner. We have added a Materials Team to help with purchasing and delivering additional materials. The Expeditors will be stationed at the Edgewood Lowe’s and take calls from the Logistics Coordinator regarding additional materials to be purchased. A good knowledge of home repair supplies is helpful and a good knowledge of the layout of Lowe’s is extremely helpful.

• Materials Runners – The runners will pick up materials from Lowe’s and deliver them to the home requesting the supplies. A pick up truck would be great to have for this duty.

• Yard Work Supervisors – Since we always have a large number of unskilled volunteers, we have scheduled a number of yard work projects. If you have a good basic knowledge of gardening and are a good leader, we can use your help. We would love to have you take a look at the projects prior to the weekend to determine the exact work to be done and the number of volunteers needed each shift. You would then supervise the volunteers at one or more nearby homes. As jobs are completed and it looks as though we need more yard work the next day, we will ask you to look at additional potential projects to determine the optimal number of volunteers to complete it.

• Food committee – Are you keen to help with this important service project but don’t feel you can shovel, hammer or rake your way through it? We have plenty of other options for you to get involved: you can bake, spread mayo, drive a car, fill coolers, you name it! The food committee is planning breakfast, lunch and snacks for volunteers on Saturday and Monday, plus snacks/some lunches on Sunday. We are looking for individuals or groups who will commit to making a minimum of 2 dozen cookies, brownies or sandwiches that are wrapped in individual servings (please label with the type of sandwich, for example, veggie, pimento cheese, etc.). This is a fun activity for any neighborhood, social or civic group. Restaurants are invited to help provide lunches, snacks and drinks. Since we will be working on so many homes, we are also looking for people who are familiar with Decatur (especially around Oakhurst) who will help with lunch delivery on Saturday and Monday. To provide food or help with deliveries, please contact Food Committee Co-Chairs Lisa Tillman at (404) 435-7653 / or Erin Braden at (404) 248-1235 /

• Donate – The Decatur Preservation Alliance is still looking for sponsors and donors for this project. Our budget is a very tight this year, so we could still use help with funds for supplies and other costs. If you are interested in donating, contact Susan Cobleigh at or 404-371-4444 or go to

Please contact Lee Ann Harvey at 678-553-6548 or send her an email, if you are interested in volunteering. Consider contacting members of your business, school, club, place of worship, or other organization to work together as a group. Volunteers will meet at the Solarium at the Community Center of South Decatur, 321 W. Hill St. in Oakhurst, at least a half-hour before the start of their shift. All volunteers are invited to attend a celebration cookout on Monday, January 18, at 5:00 p.m. at the Solarium. Hope you will be able to make it.

Thank you for caring about Decatur’s senior citizens and helping them to live safely, comfortably, and affordably in their homes.

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