The city of Palmdale has announced its “Season of Service” events for 2018, as part of the city’s participation in the “National Day of Service” in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15, 2018.

Kicking things off is the MLK Day of Celebration “Hope and Unity Block Party” sponsored by Advancing Communities Together (ACT). The event will take place tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at ACT’s facility located at 38626 9th St. East. The block party is free and open to the community and will feature games, food, live music and information on available resources.

“The purpose of this community block party is to create an opportunity for neighbors to get together, meet each other and have fun,” said Antelope Valley YouthBuild Program Coordinator Lovell Fleming, III. For more information on the block party, call (661) 266-8900.

The city of Lancaster will also participate in the Day of Service and kick off its own volunteer project season tomorrow marking its 11th year of participation in the initiative.

“Year after year, I am amazed by the unity displayed throughout our community during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “This day brings together family, friends, and neighbors in a cooperative effort towards a common goal – the working together of many for the improvement of our city for all. The city of Lancaster takes pride in the community’s ongoing commitment to serve.”

Antelope Valley Hospital Blood Drive

Various Days: January – May

Blood Donor Center, 44105 15th Street West, Lancaster

AVH Blood Donor Center accepts walk-in blood donors on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. All blood collected at the AVH Blood Donor Center stays in the Antelope Valley.

American Heroes Park – Parks Improvement Project

620 West Jackman Street, Lancaster

Time: 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Volunteers will clean up the shrubs in the planters throughout the park, clean litter around the park, as well as paint areas in need of improvement. Bring shovels and brooms.

Cedar Center for the Arts – Parks Improvement Project

Project Lead by Youth in Government

44851 Cedar Avenue, Lancaster

Time: 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Volunteers will help clean-up litter surrounding the Cedar Center in addition to painting areas in need of improvement on the interior and exterior of the building.  

Elm Avenue Community Garden Beautification and Revitalization Project

44841 Elm Avenue, Lancaster

Time: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

(near the corner of Elm and Milling in downtown Lancaster).

Volunteers will assist in the winter preparation of the garden soil, raking of leaves, repair of planter boxes and more.

Illegal Disposal Canvassing Project

Time: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Volunteers will recruit additional volunteers for upcoming illegal disposal clean-up projects and share information to help circumvent future dumping to neighborhoods surrounding clean-up sites. The community will receive education on illegal dumping, hazardous waste and recycling before venturing out in teams to reduce the amount of debris at their illegal disposal site to eliminate hazards that affect public health and safety.

The city hopes to inspire more than 1,000 selfless volunteers to complete the local projects planned for this year. Volunteers are still needed and may register online at www.cityoflancasterca.org/mlkday.

The remaining 2018 Season of Service events include:

Antelope Valley Homeless Count – Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

• Community Partner: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

• Deployment Center One: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, 2120 E.  Ave. R, Palmdale

• Deployment Center Two: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, 39546 23rd St. West, Palmdale,

Register at www.theycountwillyou.org/

The Count is the annual event to document homeless in the community and provides valuable information for funding and program development. Youth who wish to participate must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Spring Cleaning: Airpark Edition – Saturday, Feb. 24

• Community Partner: Palmdale Adopt-A-Plane Groups

• Registration Location: Joe Davies Heritage Airpark, 2001 East Ave. P, Palmdale

• Time: 8 – 8:30 am registration; 8:30 am project begins.

Participants in this event will join Adopt-a-Plane groups in preparing the Airpark for another successful season of visitors from around the world.

Community Volunteer Resource Fair – Saturday, April 14

• Location & Time: TBA

• Local agencies will be on hand to provide information about volunteering, donating and engaging opportunities.

Stamp Out Hunger – Saturday, May 12

• Community Partner: United States Postal Service

• Location: SAVES, 1002 East Avenue Q-12, Palmdale

• Time: Varied. Complete list at www.cityofpalmdale.org/servicedays

Volunteers will partner with local letter carriers for the 24th Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive which donates goods to local families in need.

Stamp Out Hunger—Part 2 – Saturday, May 19

• Community Partner: United States Postal Service

• Location: SAVES, 1002 East Avenue Q-12, Palmdale

• Time: Registration from 8 to 8:30 am.

The second installment of the volunteer opportunity will have individuals help SAVES process donations from the Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive for community distribution.

For Palmdale: Volunteers under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must complete a Release of Liability (available at www.cityofpalmdale.org or at event registration).

Last year, Palmdale residents donated more than 35,000 hours of service towards making improving the lives of those most in need and beautifying the city in an effort to make Palmdale an even better place to live.

Residents are also allowed and encouraged to create their own service projects.

“If you have an idea for a project or you want to participate in something but you’re not quite sure what, give us a call at (661) 267-5473 and we can help you identify areas of interest,” said Trish Jones. “Or visit us online at www. cityofpalmdale.org/Engaged.”

In the immortal words of Dr. King, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”