Locals Observe MLK Day with Volunteer Service

LOS ANGELES — Residents across Los Angeles County are observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President Obama’s inauguration with more than just one day of service.

The federal holiday honoring King is usually accompanied by a day of community service, though volunteers have been gathering clothes and shoes at schools, houses of worship and businesses for more than a week. They sorted them into bundles Saturday at the Big Sunday offices on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.

Big Sunday, an amalgamation of volunteers and nonprofit organizations, will deliver the bundles to local shelters, including West Side Homeless Outreach, MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) and Bienvenidos, which provides family services throughout Los Angeles, officials said.

“We believe that people need help year-round and people can help year-round,” said Rachel Schwartz, Big Sunday’s spokeswoman.

“It’s not just about one day of the year, but whatever people can do is great. The thought is: When everyone helps, everyone wins,” she said.

The city of Long Beach launched its days of service Saturday by having the normal monthly cleanup for the California Heights Neighborhood designated as one of Monday’s service events.

Other National Day of Service activities in Long Beach will include community tree planting along the Wrigley Green Belt Park, cleanups along the Long Beach Boulevard Corridor and nature trail cleanup to help restore the DeForest Park Nature Trails in North Long Beach.

Downtown Long Beach will also get a scrub-down, purging tree wells of trash, weeds and debris along 7th Street.

Los Angeles Times

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