Make a Difference Day is the largest day of community service in our country. The City of Lakewood began participating in this national day of community service in 2002 when the Youth Council began organizing and coordinating projects throughout our community. We began small with a beautification project at the old Boys & Girls club and have grown to doing projects which impact hundreds of people.
This year our projects begin with a Kick-Off event right here in Council Chambers on Saturday, October 22nd at 8:00am. It is a combination food drive for the Emergency Food Network and a Kick-Off for all the projects that will be done that day. Mayor Richardson will give a brief welcome before we depart for our individual project sites. Remember to bring a can of food for the Kick-Off event.
We will also be installing new grave markers at the historic Western State Hospital Cemetery on the grounds of Fort Steilacoom Park. Over 3,000 former mental health patients are buried in the cemetery but few grave markers were visible by the year 2000. The organization, Grave Concerns has undertaken the task of identifying and replacing all the grave markers. Many of the remaining markers are marked simply with numbers due to the social stigma of mental illness. The new markers will have names and the birth year and death year as is more commonly seen. 30 new markers will be installed this Saturday. Beverages and refreshments will be provided.
A smaller but no less important project will be sorting clothing that has been donated to Caring for Kids. This organization provides basic necessities to thousands of children and youth so they can be prepared for school. The volunteers for this project will gather after the Kick-Off event at City Hall before leaving for the project site.
Volunteers will also be needed for the West Pierce Fire & Rescue Pumpkin Patch at Fire Station 21 on Steilacoom Boulevard. They will be helping with pumpkin painting and decorating and assisting Parks staff with the Bouncy House. The fire department will have informational booths setup inside the fire station and the other activities will be outside.
Our final project will be the beautification of the grounds at Tyee Park elementary with daffodils and tulips. We will be planting over 600 bulbs in the raised flower beds and around the school sign. Come spring, there will be a burst of color to greet the students.
Come join us right here this Saturday morning at 8:00am for the Kick-Off event with a can of food. All your volunteer hours will count toward your high school community service hours. The projects will start at 9:00am and end by noon with the exception of the Pumpkin Patch which will begin at 10am and conclude at 2pm. Hope to see everyone this Saturday!