2009 MLK Service Project

Thanks to you, the Decatur Preservation Alliance’s 2009 Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Project was a resounding success. I can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work over the weekend. On behalf of the Decatur Preservation Alliance, DPA’s executive director Susan Cobleigh, the DPA board of directors, the City of Decatur, the MLK planning committee, and the senior citizens who were helped, I would also like to extend their heartfelt thank you.

Over 1,000 volunteers turned out to provide home repairs and yard work for Decatur’s senior citizens. A total of 14 homes had significant repairs. Those homes and an additional 17 had yard work for a total of 31 homes. In addition, volunteers did yard work at nearby homes of people with disabilities.

Volunteers joined individually and as part of groups. Groups included Decatur City employees, Decatur Rotary, Decatur Kiwanis, various Decatur High School groups (Lacrosse, Jr. Beta Club), Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Youth Leadership DeKalb, P.I.L.O.T. (Preparing Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow), Agnes Scott College, Art Institute of Atlanta, Emory School of Medicine, All Souls Fellowship, Decatur First United Methodist Church, Decatur Presbyterian Church, Emory Presbyterian Church, Congregation Bet Haverim, Decatur First Bank, Several Dancers Core, Southface, Glennwood Estates Neighborhood Association, Oakhurst Neighborhood Association, and other groups too numerous to mention but greatly appreciated.

An incredible amount of work was done during the three-day weekend, including but not limited to:

  • Converted bath tub to handicap accessible shower
  • Rebuilt crumbling decks and outside stairs
  • Built handicap ramps and installed handicap accessories in bathrooms
  • Removed tons of household junk out of attics, basements and yards
  • Filled nearly 1,300 yard waste bags
  • Fixed plumbing leaks, rotten wood and sub-structures
  • Repaired broken windows and window frames
  • Fixed dangerous electrical conditions
  • Plugged air leaks, installed weather stripping and installed energy efficient light bulbs.

We would love to hear about your experiences volunteering at Decatur’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Project. Please contact either Lee Ann Harvey, Volunteer! Decatur, at 678-553-6548 or leeann.harvey@decaturga.com or Susan Cobleigh, Decatur Preservation Alliance, at 404-371-4444 or susan@decaturpreservationalliance.org. Please let us know what you enjoyed about the project and what we can do to improve the project next year. If you know of a senior citizen who lives in the City of Decatur who could benefit from this project, please ask them to contact Susan Cobleigh. The deadline for senior citizens to apply for the 2010 project is Monday, June 1.

Would you like to become involved in planning the project or taking a larger role during the project weekend? If so, please contact Lee Ann Harvey or Susan Cobleigh for more information. As a volunteer for Decatur’s Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project, you will directly improve the lives of your senior neighbors. No other project so connects the community to their health, safety and well-being while literally building value in the neighborhood. An event of this scale absolutely relies on volunteers, regular everyday people, who fulfill critical roles. We invite you to be one of the important people at the core of this event. You just may be touched forever by the overwhelming gratitude of our seniors. Some of the key positions include:

In every home we weatherized, on every handicap ramp we built and behind every leak we fixed was a community philanthropist who freely gave their money, product or service to help our diverse senior neighbors. Materials, rental fees, trades people and the little necessities it takes to host this event amount to significant expense. This year we are coordinating our fundraising as never before and could use your expertise.

As a member of the Fundraising Committee you could research and target potential donors who will find value and satisfaction in our mission. You might as well exercise your contacts and network in communities likely to share our goals. And your knowledge of grants, grant writing and philanthropic organizations will help make this event possible.

Marketing Committee:
Help us tell our story. Assist with developing brochures and other marketing materials.

ToolBank Coordinator:
Survey and document requirements for tools and equipment, reserve and rent tools from the Atlanta Community ToolBank, track tools and equipment location through check in and return back to the ToolBank.

Materials Management:
Collect project material requirements, consolidate for bulk purchasing and schedule deliveries to homes. Take orders for ad hoc material requirements. Administer picking, bundling and purchasing. Oversee delivery via materials runners.

Yard Work Team:
Yard work is one of the most important aspects of this project. The majority of the volunteers are involved in doing yard work, so oversight of this significant portion of the project is being expanded.  Yard Assessors assist with assessing the yards to determine a volunteer work plan for the weekend. Yard Captains lead volunteers doing yard work. Yard Zone Coordinators oversee projects at several yards during the weekend. Something as simple to most of us as yard work means so much to a senior citizen who is no longer able to take care of their yard the way they once did.

Zone Coordinator:
Conduct house captain orientation, and manage project assessment and other pre-planning activities for a small grouping of homes. Oversee house captain project planning, material estimation, tool reservation and safe work practices. Coordinate and facilitate all project activities at the same grouping of homes during the event.

House Captain:
Under the guidance of the Zone Coordinator, the house captain will meet with the senior homeowner and develop a workscope based on the original project assessment. The plan will include a list projects and the shift they will be completed, material estimation, tool reservation, determination of volunteers needed to complete each task, oversight of the volunteers, safe work practices, and liaison to the senior homeowner.

Decatur Preservation Alliance and the City of Decatur would like to thank the following for their donations (both monetary and in kind). Without these sponsors the Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Project could not occur:

  • Agnes Scott College
  • All Souls Fellowship
  • Appleseed Tree Service
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia
  • Atlanta Light Bulbs
  • B & J Roofing
  • Badda Bing
  • Benning Construction Company
  • Bray Electrical Services
  • Cecil Pearson Plumbing
  • Chick-fil-A Downtown Decatur
  • City of Decatur Employees
  • Community Center of South Decatur
  • Crestco Waste Services
  • Decatur Business Association
  • Decatur First Bank/Fairfield Mortgage
  • Decatur First United Methodist Church
  • Decatur Holiday Inn Conference Center
  • Decatur Presbyterian Church
  • Decatur Rotary Club
  • Dixie Glasshoppers
  • Dixie Ice Co.
  • DS Plumbing
  • Ernest Jones
  • Ever-Redi Exterminating
  • Georgia Association for Women Lawyers Foundation
  • Grogan’s Sani-Service, Inc.
  • Hardin Construction Company
  • Housing Authority of the City of Decatur
  • IBG Construction Services
  • Inside-Out Inspections & Renovations
  • Intown Electric
  • Kroger on Caroline
  • Lowes at Edgewood
  • M. Cary & Daughters Plumbing
  • Nathalie’s Fish House
  • Oakhurst Neighborhood Association
  • Pinnacle Custom Builders
  • Publix on East Lake
  • Publix on N. Decatur
  • Publix on Ponce De Leon
  • Ranger Heating & Air
  • Raphael’s Heat Air Systems
  • Sawicki’s
  • Southface
  • Starbucks
  • Taveras Plumbing Services, LLC
  • The Bubbling Creek Company
  • The Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival
  • Wahoo! Grill
  • WH Mechanical ContractingPlease support the businesses that have helped support our project! We look forward to you joining us during the next Decatur Martin Luther King, Jr. Service project, which will take place January 16, 17, and 18, 2010.Thanks!

    Lee Ann