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January 20, 2020 Volunteering

Philly celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day by lending a helping hand

While many people may have been off from work and school for Martin Luther King Jr. day, thousands showed up to volunteer at events across Philadelphia.

Girard College hosted five thousand people at its annual Greater Philadelphia Day of Service at its campus and saw 150,000 participants across the region.

Volunteers also helped build houses with Habitat for Humanity, clean with Our Lady of Hope Parish and do outdoor work at West Mill Creek Recreation Center.

People participate in service projects at Girard College. The day also included a job fair and a kid’s carnival.

Xu Gheng, a Habitat for Humanity Americorps member from Philadelphia, hammers wood to seal the floor of a row house. Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia is working on building several homes in the Sharswood neighborhood.

Whitney Bennett, right, washes dishes and Alisha Moloobhai, left, sweeps up in the kitchen of the parish house of Our Lady of Hope Parish on Broad and Duncannon streets.

Participants browse through keys at the Key Idea station at Girard College during the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. The Key Idea is a community art project, started by Lenore Lyons. Participants are asked to trace the key on a card and answer the question, “What does your key open or start or do?” Founder Lenore Lyons said that the project “reveals the optimism in a community.”

Malaka Hammie, 17, Shaniyah Golatt, 17, and Amira Taylor, 17, all participants in Girls Track, color at Girard College during the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service.

Volunteers, Tad Logan, left, Qwadwo Agyapong, and Amir Winston clean the streets near the West Mill Creek Recreation center at Reno Street in Philadelphia. Volunteers gathered for an outside cleaning event as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Angeles Gonzalez Prado (left), of Philadelphia, installs insulation in a row house while Adam Agins, a board member for Habitat for Humanity Young Professionals, cuts drywall in the background. This is Gonzalez Prado’s first time having off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and he has always wanted to volunteer with the organization.

David Stone and Dan Wofford, Senator Harris Wofford’s son, build “Commit to Count” boxes at Girard College for the signature project. The boxes will be distributed at 250 organizations across the city, in areas traditionally undercounted during the census. Volunteers will use the boxes to raise awareness about the census.

Volunteers, Amir Winston, left, and Qwadwo Agyapong clean the streets near the West Mill Creek Recreation Center.

Participants fill meal bags for Rise Against Hunger at Girard College. The meal bags included rice, soy, dried vegetables and a micronutrient packet. The meals are distributed around the world in parts of Asia, Africa, South America and Europe, mainly to school transitional programs.

Cathy Brzozwski (left) and her daughter Morgan Brzozowski (right) volunteer with Talini Mathis (center), Habitat for Humanity Americorps member, to put house wrap around a set of row houses.

(left to right) Terry Upshur, Cherise Wynne and Danyelle Lowman-Bush, from Compass Real Estate Brokerage, fill meal bags for Rise Against Hunger

Alisha Moloobhai, left, from NSM Insurance Group, helps clean up the kitchen in the parish house of Our Lady of Hope Parish at Broad and Duncannon.

Jasmine Harris-Branch, left, parishioner, and Kaleigh Florentino, 17, right, of Little Flower High School, place an opaque plastic sheet over a window in the Our Lady of Hope Parish house to keep the cold from seeping in.

Participants build “Commit to Count” boxes at Girard College for the signature project.

Jasmine Harris-Branch, left, parishioner, and Kaleigh Florentino, 17, right, of Little Flower High School, place tape on the edges of an opaque plastic sheet so they can tape it over a window in the Our Lady of Hope Parish house.

Maya Tinker-Avitabile, 10, and Elizabeth Tinker, from Philadelphia, build “Commit to Count” boxes at Girard College for the signature project.