Community Service Day, which began in 2005 with 200 volunteers and several commmunity projects, has today become a major event, with 22 projects throughout the city that people can volunteer for.
"I've always been taught that it is important to give back to your community," said Vice Mayor Michael Harris, who originated the idea. "I knew a lot of folks felt the same way, but just needed an organized way of doing it. I didn’t see other cities doing anything. So I thought, why not come up with a day during the year where people could volunteer for one day? We had 250 people the first year, and about a dozen projects. Now there are about 1000 people volunteering throughout the city. It's great to see people spend the time and effort to give back to the city that we love."
People can sign up for a variety of projects in a variety of locales throughout Pleasant Hill, including planting, painting, cleanup and beautificaiton. Locations include schools, creeks, parks and other public places. The police department will be leading a bicycle donation effort that day to repair donated bikes that can then be given to those who need a bike but can't afford one.
The effort has won the attention and admiration of the League of California Cities, which awarded Pleasant Hill the Helen Putnam Award for the program.
"Walnut Creek started a program like this last summer," Harris said. "It was based on our program. It's doable in just about any city."
The 8th Annual Community Service Day is Saturday, September 22nd. Sign up as a volunteer to work on one of 22 projects at www.pleasant-hill.net/volunteer which has a complete listing of all projects and their locations. There is also a food drive as part of this year’s event so don’t forget to bring some items of non-perishable food with you to Pleasant Hill Park on the morning of the event.
The event begins at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 22nd at Pleasant Hill Park on Gregory Lane. For being a volunteer you receive:
FREE! Pancake breakfast at PH Park (7:30 a.m.- 9:00 a.m.)
FREE! T-Shirt (1st 500 Volunteers)
Community Service Day is organized by the Pleasant Hill Civic Action Commission. For more information contact Martin Nelis at email@example.com or phone (925) 671-5229.