GARDENA, Calif.–On Saturday, May 14th, Sharefest Community Development will hold the 8th Annual Workday, mobilizing thousands of volunteers throughout LA County to complete tangible work projects that will change the quality of life for its residents. The largest project will take place at Gardena High School as the Los Angeles Mayor’s office, LAUSD, Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s Office, LAPD, City of Gardena, Bank of America and King’s Harbor Church are set to join forces with volunteers from the school and the nearby community beautifying and modernizing the campus.

“The spirit of volunteerism is embedded in Sharefest and we are proud to be their partners in service,” said Rafael Gonzalez, Chief Service Officer of the Office of the Mayor.

The Gardena High School community was shaken in January when two students were wounded from a shooting on campus. The 17 year-old who admitted to committing single felony counts of possessing a firearm in a school zone and discharging a firearm in a school zone, was sentenced last week to serve nine months in a juvenile camp.

LAPD Captain Billy Hayes said “When the shooting occurred, we were first on the scene. We are thrilled to work alongside Sharefest to do something positive during this great day.”

School officials, families and the city of Gardena are now looking towards the future in hopes that positive change will be seen at Gardena High School.

Gardena Mayor Paul K. Tanaka said, “We are happy to partner with Sharefest on the Gardena High School project through the voluntary efforts of Gardena City employees, as a safe learning environment that promotes high academic achievement is critical to our community.”
LAUSD Board member Dr. Richard Vladovic said, “We are deeply appreciative to Sharefest and all of the wonderful partners and resources they bring to our schools. I am deeply honored to be able to participate in this transformative day for Gardena High School.”

Gardena High School Principal, Rudy Mendoza said, “We are thrilled for this opportunity to receive so much support from the community and mobilize our students to improve the campus and take pride in their school.”

King’s Harbor Church South Bay will anchor the overall campus beautification project. The scope of the work includes landscaping, irrigation, planting, maintenance, painting, murals, and general campus-wide cleanup.

Pastor Chris Cannon said, “When we first heard about the tragedy, we wanted to respond in a tangible way. We are looking forward to partnering with the community to help facilitate the project and empower the students and future leaders at Gardena High School.”

“Bank of America and Sharefest have a common vision to improve local communities through volunteerism and the investment of resources and expertise,” said Chandler Root, Regional Managing Director for Merrill Lynch and a member of Bank of America’s senior leadership team for Los Angeles, known as the Executive Council. “In addition to providing a $5,000 grant for this project, we look forward to working with students and families of Gardena High School on this exciting project, as everyone wins when we work together.”

The Sharefest Workday has a history of coming alongside communities hit by tragedy to create an atmosphere of hope and tangible change for the future. In 2009, the organization worked with Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s Office to organize the effort to build a community center in conjunction with the Harbor Gateway Boys and Girls Club following the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Cheryl Green in 2006.

“Sharefest was instrumental in the building of the Cheryl Green Community Center in 2009. It comes as no surprise that Sharefest is stepping up to help a community in need, therefore I will continue to give Sharefest my full support with this project at Gardena High School,” said Councilwoman Janice Hahn.

The Sharefest workday has been on a trajectory over the last eight years of helping more and more schools and neighborhoods while gathering an increasing number of volunteers from Los Angeles County to create a lasting imprint of positive change to local communities. Since its inception, the organization has mobilized over 30,000 volunteers to complete more than $6,000,000 worth of projects for Los Angeles County cities and schools.

It is expected that 600 volunteers will be on the high school campus on May 14th to contribute the various work projects throughout the day.

Sharefest Community Development is looking for local businesses to join the effort and help the Gardena High School project come together. There is a need for donations and support of various sorts, including skilled laborers, landscaping tools and equipment as well as monetary donations. Any parties interested in participating in the Gardena High School project or any of the other hundreds of projects in the South Bay and Harbor areas, should sign up online at the Sharefest website at www.sharefestinc.org.

Chad Mayer, Executive Director of Sharefest Community Development said, “Projects like this are the heartbeat of Sharefest’s Annual Workday, empowering and building community by rallying students, staff and local residents to take ownership and leave a positive imprint in their own neighborhoods.”

Visit www.sharefestinc.org for more information on Sharefest Community Development.