October Walnut Creek Mayor's Message
Oct 03, 2016 02:29PM
● By Loella Haskew
Loella Haskew, Mayor of Walnut Creek
COMMUNITY SERVICE DAY
In this era of technology solutions, is it possible to capitalize on the real desire of community members to come together and improve their city? Is there a way to create the effect of a citywide “barn raising” that mobilizes hundreds of people on a single day to help with dozens of community-benefitting projects?
This month, Walnut Creek will prove, once again, that the answer is a resounding YES! On Saturday, October 8, Walnut Creek residents and guests of all ages will celebrate the spirit of volunteerism at Walnut Creek’s 6th Annual Community Service Day. This half-day event offers community members the chance to give their time for a favorite cause, learn more about community non-profits, and make new friends.
Community Service Day begins at 7:30am with a pancake breakfast at the Community Center, Heather Farm Park, cooked by the four local Lions Clubs. Volunteers then spread across the area for the 9am start of work. Project work is over no later than 1pm. Those who attend the breakfast receive a free t-shirt! Groups such as boy or girl scout troops, classes, church organizations, and neighborhoods join up and take on projects together.
Community members can volunteer on more than 50 different projects, including:
· Sprucing up the All Abilities Playground at Heather Farm Park
· Being like Tom Sawyer and painting fences in Civic Park
· Renovating the amphitheater at Borges Ranch
· Helping decorate Downtown with streetscape art
· Preparing fall landscaping at Lindsay Wildlife Experience
· Distributing posters for a craft festival at Bedford Gallery
If you don’t see anything that tickles your fancy, there are many more choices. To learn more or sign up to participate, visit www.Walnut-Creek.org/service or call 925-256-3505.
Here are some statistics about the success of this program. Since its founding in 2011, Community Service Day has:
- Involved more than 6,250 volunteers
- Provided more than 25,000 hours of work
- Served organizations receiving volunteer efforts, in addition to schools, including over 30 local non-profit organizations and city services
- Involved more than 15 businesses as sponsors of the event
Accomplishments from past Community Service Days:
· Collected more than 15 tons of food for the Contra Costa Food Bank
· Cleaned and sorted more than 50,000 children’s book covers
· Cleaned and refurbished creeks and open space areas
· Cleaned and painted schools and school landscaping
· Cleared organic and instructional gardens to prepare for winter or for planting
· Added hundreds of plants and trees parks and gardens
Community Service Day has increased civic pride and proven that people want to get involved and give back to their community. It has shown that the power of human energy is unbeatable.
Safety Tip for October: Halloween is coming. Pedestrians, especially our little trick-or-treaters, should use common sense when walking at night. Carry a flashlight and use it so drivers and bicyclists can see you. Wear bright, light-colored clothing with reflective materials whenever possible. Cross the street in a well-lit area.