(PHOTOS) 2018 MLK Service ProjectVolunteer Seth Aufderheide provides carpentry on a deck at a Decatur home on Saturday.
By Greta Reynolds, contributor
The Decatur Preservation Alliance’s annual MLK Service Project is taking place in Decatur city neighborhoods today.
The project started on Saturday, Jan. 13.
Volunteers are joining the MLK Service Project to provide free maintenance and repairs to homes of qualifying senior citizens throughout the city of Decatur. Executive committee member LeeAnn Harvey, who also works as Decatur’s Lifelong Community Coordinator, said that Martin Luther King Jr. Day was meant to be a day of service, so they think of it as a day on, rather than a day off.
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When the MLK Service Project first began, it lasted a half day, but the need was so great that the project stretched to encompass all three days of the long weekend. The project is a well-oiled machine, with a team for every logistical task, like handing out or delivering the 1,300 plus tools at their disposal.
The volunteers are a diverse group, and their tasks are just as diverse. Some are clearing out debris and doing yard work, others weatherizing basements and attics, or replacing parts of homes that have become a hazard to their owners. Terreon Randolph says she is glad to have volunteers at the home of her parents, Regina and Eddie Presley, to see them have “increased mobility, accessibility, and safety.”
Mrs. Regina Presley is most excited to have “real heat”. Her joy is evident as she points at an in-progress AC vent, and then to the small electric heater currently pumping heat into the room where she and her husband Eddie are having lunch. The project is in its 16th year, and executive committee member Paul Mitchell says they now repair about 30 homes per year. He also said that their leadership team of 90 begins planning each year’s project as early as March.
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