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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 21 January 2009

United Way of the Columbia-Willamette and Hands On Greater Portland are inviting community members to volunteer for service projects on MLK Weekend 2009, Jan. 17-19.
To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's legacy of purposeful community engagement, volunteers will work on projects at area nonprofits throughout the four-county Portland/Vancouver metro area.
This is the second year in a row that United Way and Hands On Greater Portland have organized service projects to commemorate Dr. King's holiday. Last year, more than 400 people from across the region worked together to completed done-in-a day volunteer projects.
Here's a sampling of 2009 MLK Weekend volunteer opportunities in the four-county area. For more info, or to sign up for United Way MLK Weekend of Service volunteer projects, please visit www.unitedway-pdx.org.


• Get Out and Garden: Portland Community Gardens (Portland)

Work with other volunteers on the common areas of a local garden — mulching fruit trees, weeding, spreading wood chips on paths, and more. Portland Community Gardens provides garden space and educational events within Portland's neighborhoods. This project is great for families and youth age 12 and over.

• Spruce Up and Paint Twality Middle School (Tigard)

A fresh coat of paint is needed in two classrooms and a number of student and teacher desks are in serious need of a deep clean.  Youth ages 14-17 are welcome to volunteer for this project.

• Paint and Spruce Up! at Mt. Pleasant Elementary (Clackamas)

Do you like to paint and clean and have fun doing it? Volunteers are needed to help paint two large classrooms, clean and disinfect surfaces throughout the school and paint outdoor columns/poles. This project is great for volunteers age 12 and older.

• Help at the Ft. Vancouver Regional Library District (Vancouver)

Support the Ft. Vancouver Regional Library District's programs for youth and adults! We will be doing a variety of projects: recycling jetpacks used for mailing books, and possibly stuffing resource bags encouraging reading to children for new moms. This project is disability-friendly and open to all ages.

• Potluck in the Park (Portland)

Each Sunday, O'Bryant Square, a public park, becomes a community of those wishing to serve anyone in need. Set up begins at 2:30pm and the meal service starts at 3:00pm. By 4:30pm, the meal service winds down and breakdown and clean up of the site begins.

• Cook It Up: Mealtime at Good Neighbor Center (Tigard)

Join a group of volunteers to prepare and serve up Sunday dinner for the residents of the Good Neighbor Center, a homeless shelter that serves families in Tigard. The group of volunteers supply the food for each meal by each bringing items, though no volunteer will be turned away. Together, volunteers will prepare an entree , a vegetable side dish, a salad and a dessert. The volunteer leader has been preparing a menu of multicultural foods for each dinner.


•  Revitalize the Mallory Avenue Community Enrichment Center (Portland)

Join in for a busy day of painting, sorting, cleaning, organizing and more, as the community comes together to brighten the rooms and hallways of Mallory Avenue Community Enrichment Center!
We will be sprucing up a number of rooms with a new coat of paint, helping organize the community clothing closet, cataloguing books in the library, and cleaning up common areas both inside and out (weather permitting). Volunteers should dress in grubby clothes and be ready to apply some elbow grease! There will be lower-impact activities (like the clothing and book sorting) for those who aren't comfortable with painting.

• Coalition of Troop Support (Clackamas)

Help send comfort supply kits to soldiers from Oregon and Washington.  The Coalition of Troop Support will be bringing "comfort" items* to send to our local troops, who often do not have access to these products while serving in Iraq.

• Books and More Books (Hillsboro)

Help us spruce up the Children's Section at the Hillsboro Public Library! Volunteers will straighten shelves of books and other materials, re-shelve books, read shelves to make sure books are in the right order and shelve videos and other materials. To keep our books bright we'll also be cleaning out lurking dust.

• Organize and Sort Food at Sunshine Pantry (Beaverton)

Join a group of volunteers to organize and sort food for the Sunshine Pantry in Beaverton. Urban Gleaners prepare food boxes for anyone in the community who is in need.  The project is disability-friendly. Kids ages 6 and up are welcome, if accompanied by an adult volunteer.

• Preserve A Wetland  (Vancouver)

Vancouver Watersheds Council invites volunteers to help plant a wetland in East Vancouver at the intersection of 34th Street & 192nd Ave. This family-friendly project is open to children ages 5 and up.



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